Slow Cooker Honey Pumpkin (Ayote en miel)

pumpkin-in-honeyIf you’re looking for a new, cozy, fall pumpkin recipe, this pumpkin in honey, ayote en miel, recipe is for you! Pumpkin gets steamed in a light, sweet syrup. This warm and sweet dish is perfect for this time of year when there is a chill in the air and pumpkins are aplenty. I used one of my pumpkins from my final CSA share and I also went to a pumpkin patch where I picked up more pumpkins, spaghetti squash, butternut squash and acorn squash. You can use any kind of pumpkin or squash for this recipe.

Sometimes when I make my mother’s recipes, I take shortcuts or modernize the recipes for convenience or health reasons (such as baking things instead of frying). Other times, it is because some ingredients are hard to find in this city. Such was the case last year when I first shared my ayote en miel recipe. I was missing panela for the syrup, which is an unrefined cane sugar in solid form. I ended up using a combination of honey and brown sugar and talked about the benefits of using 100% local honey (which I still stand by).

This time around, I picked up some panela at a Latin American store and made it the traditional way. Panela comes in a solid form either in pucks or in a larger piloncillo (loaf). I had fun using panela and when it was done, the ayote tasted just RIGHT. However, the honey substitute works just as well. Both give off an amazing aroma of pumpkin, cloves and cinnamon that pumpkin spice scented candles would envy. I took some to work and my coworkers all wondered where the pumpkin pie-in-the-oven smell was coming from.

This recipe is perfect for halloween parties! Just serve in small bowls with a spoon.

Start with washing your pumpkin. Scrub the outside well outside well as the pumpkin gets cooked, including the skin. Slice the top off, then cut the pumpkin in half.

mitad-de-ayote

Cut pumpkin in half, skin on.

Then cut each half of the pumpkin into smaller, two inch pieces. I like to have fun and do what my mo used to do – cut them into all kinds of shapes.

Cut pumpkin into 2 inch pieces.

Cut pumpkin into 2 inch pieces.

Panela is made of sugar cane juice. Sugar cane is popular in Central American countries so it is more commonly used in those countries.

pkg-of-panela

This is how the panela comes packaged.

The panela comes wrapped in a corn husk.

panela-en-cascara

And finally, after all those layers, the panela.

piloncillo-de-panela

Slice the panela. Throw it on the ground to break it if need be (while wrapped in the corn husk). You will need a cup’s worth for this recipe.

The combination of panela, cinnamon and cloves release a sweet and spicy aroma.

The combination of panela, cinnamon and cloves release a sweet and spicy aroma.

Combine everything in the slow cooker and cook for 4-5 hours, or until the pumpkin is tender and browned.

ayote-en-miel-_slowcooker
Eat while hot!ayote-en-miel

 Slow Cooker Honey Pumpkin

INGREDIENTS

  • One small pumpkin or squash (2-3 lbs), washed on the outside, chopped with the skin on
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of panela (or one puck)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine water, brown sugar and honey in slow cooker. Mix to combine.
  2. Add the vanilla, cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  3. Add the pieces of pumpkin so that water covers most of the pieces.
  4. Cook on low for 5 hours or until tender.
  5. Remove the cloves and cinnamon sticks and enjoy while hot!

Buen provecho!

slow-cooker-honey-pumpkin

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