Calabaza en tacha, a Mexican dessert traditionally prepared for Día de los Muertos, was the inspiration for these candied pumpkins drenched with a rich syrup made from piloncillo cones, an unrefined, molasses-laden Mexican cane sugar. Small sugar pie pumpkins have more concentrated sugars, making them perfect for this simple dessert. As the pumpkin wedges cool, they soak up the syrup, resulting in custardy bites laced with cinnamon, clove, and a hint of orange. Serve leftovers mashed in a yogurt or ice cream parfait, churned into pumpkin ice cream, or alongside gingerbread cookies with crema drizzled on top.
Inspired by Cassie Piuma's squash spanakopita at her restaurant, Sarma, in Somerville, Massachusetts, this stuffed pumpkin is filled with a nutty, creamy blend of Gruyère and feta cheeses; sweet, anise-scented fennel; and hearty green lacinato kale for a stunning vegetarian main dish fit for any holiday table. After roasting and before stuffing, scrape the inside of the pumpkin to loosen about 3 cups of the sweet, tender flesh to yield a flavorful base for the kale filling. Use a gentle hand when scraping to leave the pumpkin walls intact.