I bought a nice fat pumpkin and was all set to make pie, but then I saw this recipe for pumpkin jam pop up on my feeds and couldn’t resist. I’d never thought of making pumpkin jam before, didn’t even know it was a thing! How could I have missed that?! I’m jumping on that bandwagon straight away!
You could use any pumpkin or winter squash for this recipe, but I chose potimarron, a.k.a. red kuri squash, hokkaido or onion squash, which has a rich, sweet flavour reminiscent of chestnuts. It makes lovely Autumnal jam all on its own, but to add a little more oomph, I opted to bake it to bring out the flavour even more, and I went the extra step of caramelising the sugar for even more flavour.
Wowza! This jam is stunningly good!
The mellow, earthy nuttiness of the pumpkin is given a big kick of burnt sugar sweetness, making for an intense flavour in a silky smooth spread. Jam for grown-ups.
Makes about 625ml / 21 fl oz / 2 2/3 cups
Pumpkin: 1 hour + cooling
Jam: 15 minutes
Processing time: 30 minutes + cooling
approx. 1kg (approx. 2 lb) potimarron or other winter squash or pumpkin
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a baking tray with parchment or foil (makes clean-up easier).
Slice the stems off and halve the squash, and scoop out the seeds. Place them cut-side down on the tray and bake them for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until very soft. The baking time will depend on the size.
Let cool enough to handle, then scrape out all the flesh.
Use a food processor or blender to purée until smooth.
Transfer the purée to a medium saucepan, add the lemon juice and vanilla extract, and bring to a simmer over low heat.
Meanwhile, add the sugar to a medium-large heavy-based saucepan and place over medium-low heat. When the sugar starts to melt, gently swirl the pan or stir with a spatula until it has all melted and become deep caramel in colour, about 5 minutes all together.
NOTE: The next step will involve a lot of very hot spluttering, so wear an apron and oven mitts and stand back!
Reduce the heat under the sugar to minimum, scrape the pumpkin mixture into the caramelised sugar and stir well to combine, then continue cooking for another minute.
Remove from heat and spoon the jam into sterilised jars, leaving a little head space at the top. Seal the jars tightly, then boil gently in a water bath for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely. The jars I use have a dimpled lid that makes a very satisfying “pop” when the dimple is sucked in as the jam cools, so I know the jar is sealed properly.
If properly sterilised, it will keep for up to a year, stored in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate after opening and use within 2 weeks.