Pumpkin & Ginger Jam
Pumpkin & Ginger Jam has been a labour of love (if you follow me on Facebook and Instagram you’ll already know this)! I have never made jam out of a vegetable before but with Halloween just around the corner I felt I had to devise a recipe to use up leftover Halloween pumpkin (Jack-o’-lantern) as we all need to cut down on food waste. Did you know that 51 % of Brits throw away their Halloween pumpkins according to a recent article in The Guardian?
After a false start where I soaked my jam ingredients for 24 hrs rather than overnight and ended up with shrivelled, dehydrated pumpkin, I decided to abandon the whole soaking idea on my second attempt. (Luckily, I managed to salvage the first attempt with my trusty stick blender).
Further research churned up recipes where reviews complained of hard pumpkin so I decided that cooking the pumpkin first was the best course of action! Hence, it’s important to cook your pumpkin until it squashes easily with the side of a wooden spoon. It’s then mashed or for a smoother jam you can use a stick blender.
What’s the best way to prepare pumpkin?
If you want to involve your kids then slicing the pumpkin into narrow wedges and using a vegetable peeler is a good option. However, I found the quickest way to prepare the pumpkin was to slice it into wedges and then slice along the line of skin as if preparing a melon. Then chop up the slices into small pieces (too small is better than too big).
What does Pumpkin & Ginger Jam taste like?
Pumpkin & Ginger Jam is more like a marmalade than a jam in flavour due to the lemon and crystallised ginger but you can taste the sweetness of the pumpkin shining through. Therefore, I’d say this is the perfect jam to have for breakfast.
Is Pumpkin & Ginger Jam easy to make?
Yes, there are just 4 ingredients and no pectin. Once the pumpkin has boiled you simply drain, add the lemon quarters, crystallised ginger and sugar and heat through until dissolved. Then you bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes, test on a chilled saucer and pot up if ready.
How long will the Pumpkin & Ginger Jam keep for and how should it be stored?
I’m always asked how long jam will keep and the usual answer I give is that it’s best eaten in the first year and should be stored in a cool, dark place (I keep mine in a cupboard in my garage). But jam can last for years as the sugar acts as a preservative and this Pumpkin and Ginger Jam will be no different. Once opened jam should be stored in the fridge and will keep for about 3 months providing you use a clean spoon to serve (no dirty buttery knives kids)!
Is it OK to use a Halloween pumpkin (Jack-o’-lantern) that has had a candle burning in it?
No, you don’t want to use a pumpkin that has had a candle burning in it as it will taint the flavour. It’s best to use an electric tealight to light up your pumpkin and it’s also a lot safer for your trick or treaters! I’ll never forget the year when my daughter got far too close to a neighbour’s lit pumpkin and I quickly pulled her away. There are too many stories of kids being injured when their costumes catch light.
What other recipes can leftover Halloween pumpkin be used in?
- Curried Pumpkin Soup
- The Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe (boil & roast method)
- Chorizo, Pumpkin & Spinach Giant Couscous Salad
- The Best Pumpkin Risotto
- Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta Bake
- Slimming World Syn Free Spiced Lamb & Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie
- Cheesey Pumpkin Dip
- Roast Pumpkin Hummus
- Pumpkin Butter
- Pumpkin and Spice Dark Chocolate Bark
- Pumpkin Fruit Cake
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Had my Pumpkin Jam for breakfast which I finally nailed! Recipe development doesn’t happen at the snap of a finger, sometimes there’s trial and error involved especially when charting new territory! I’d never made jam from a vegetable before. Prior to this my Vegan Apple Meringue using aquafaba got made 3 times before I was happy with the result. It can be quite stressful at times but that’s the same with any creative process, when the hard work pays off there’s no greater sense of accomplishment and that’s why I love my job😊 Recipe coming soon! #pumpkinjam #jammaking
After an initial reluctance to try my Pumpkin & Ginger Jam my hubby gave it a huge thumbs up and encouraged me to see this recipe through to its successful conclusion! I do hope you try it and if you do why not share a picture tagging @FabFood4All on social media, I’d love to see your creations!
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Pumpkin & Ginger Jam
- 1 small Pumpkin mine weighed 1.4 kg with some left over
- 1 kg (5 cups) granulated sugar
- 75 g (1/2 generous cup pre chopping) crystallised ginger very finely diced
- 2 small lemons quartered (remove any loose pips)
- Place 2 saucers in the freezer (for testing set).
Prepare the pumpkin by cutting into quarters and scraping out the seeds.
- Then slice into wedges and either peel or slice off the skin like you would prepare a melon. (I found the latter method far quicker).
- Chop the pumpkin flesh into 1 – 2 cm pieces and weigh out 1 kg (8 cups).
- Place pumpkin in a preserving pan or similar and just cover with boiling water.
- Bring to the boil and boil under a lid for 20 – 25 mins or until the pumpkin is easily squashed with a wooden spoon.
- Drain and then mash with a potato masher (or blend if you prefer a smooth jam).
- Add the lemon quarters, crystallised ginger and sugar.
- Place on a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved (do not simmer).
- Turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil (it won’t froth up like jam usually does).
- Time for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Then remove from heat and place a few drops on a chilled saucer.
- Place saucer in the fridge for 30 seconds.
- Push you finger through the jam and if it forms a crinkle and is tacky then it’s ready, if not continue boiling for 2 minutes at a time and repeat test.
Squeeze the juice out of the lemon quarters with a wooden spoon and then remove from the pan (remove any escaped seeds too).
Pot up into hot sterilised jars (makes just over 1 ltr which is 2 large jars plus a bit for tasting).
Place lids on immediately.
Ready to eat when cool although the flavours will mature on keeping.
Store in a cool dark place and once opened keep in fridge and eat within 2 – 3 months.
Sterilise jars by washing in hot soapy water (or take straight from dishwasher), fill with boiling water, empty and then place in oven for 20 minutes at 140°C where you leave them until the jam is ready. Washed lids should be sterilised with boiling water and then left to drain.