Guatemalan Sweet Pumpkin or Ayote En Dulce, is a decadent and delicious, traditional Guatamalan dessert. It is like eating pumpkin pie without all the crust and fuss. It is soft, sweet, slightly spicy and melds all the best flavors of fall into one dish.
Guatemalan Sweet Pumpkin or Ayote En Dulce is actually very easy to make. It is as simple as cutting up the pumpkin and cooking it to perfection.
This is one of my husbands favorite traditional Guatemalan recipes. His father always made this in the fall when the pumpkins were ripe. They never carved pumpkins like we do in the United States, but they always enjoyed Ayote En Dulce, as it is called in Guatemala, in the fall. This translates directly as pumpkin in sugar.
This recipe calls for Piloncillo, a form of pure raw cane sugar that is commonly used in Mexican cooking and is sometimes referred to as Mexican brown sugar. It has not been processed, leaving it with a golden brown color and a deliciously rich flavor similar to molasses.
You should be able to find Piloncillo in the Mexican aisle, bulk section of your supermarket.
If you cannot find piloncillo sugar you can easily substitute brown sugar in an equal amount. About 12 ounces total in this recipe but you could add more if your pumpkin is larger.
I recommend using a pie pumpkin, the small pumpkins which are just the right size for making a pie or two, but you can actually use any pumpkin. Just make sure to adjust the amount of the other ingredients if the pumpkin is larger or smaller.
If you have a home grown pumpkin to use that is even better! I had a renegade pumpkin this year that grew over in the side driveway! I didn’t plant it but must have been a seed in the compost somehow. I love it when nature gives in funny ways.
To make this delicious Guatemalan Sweet Pumpkin or Ayote En Dulce just wash the pie pumpkin throughly then cut in half and remove the seeds, leaving the skin on.
Cut it into about 16 wedges and place in a large pot. Place the 2 piloncillo sugar cones on top of the cut pumpkin.
Pour 1 cup of water over the top of the sugar cones to help them begin to dissolve. Add the cinnamon sticks or sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
Place a lid on your pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a low simmer and cook for about 40 more minutes or until pumpkin is very soft and ready to eat. When you poke the pumpkin with a fork it will feel soft.
Serve each wedge of pumpkin with a spoon of the sugary syrup from the bottom of the pot. If you want, add a tablespoon or two of cream or a scoop of ice cream, my favorite!!! Eat the pumpkin, leaving the skin behind.
This dessert is easy to make but tastes like you slaved over it all day. It is so good.
Guatemalan Sweet Pumpkin
- 1 Pie Pumpkin
- 2 Piloncillo Sugar cones 6 oz each or 12 oz. brown sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Cup Water
- Wash the pumpkin throughly then cut in half and remove the seeds, leaving the skin on.
- Cut into about 16 wedges and place in a large pot. Place the piloncillo sugar cones on top of the cut pumpkin.
- Pour the water over the top of the sugar cones to help them begin to dissolve.
- Add the cinnamon sticks or sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
- Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a low simmer and cook for about 40 more minutes or until pumpkin is very soft and ready to eat. When you poke the pumpkin with a fork it will feel soft.
- Serve warm with a scoop of the sugar syrup and little bit of cream or top with ice cream for something extra special. Eat the pumpkin, leaving the skin behind.
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