As I mentioned a while back, over the last two years living here in the US, one very noticeable difference from Europe is the pumpkin madness that kicks in every October. Everything starts or ends with "pumpkin", in one way or form. This national attachment to the orange gourd squash is something I find very entertaining yet terribly endearing.
So of course there are the usual suspects: pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin lattes, etc. Then seasonal cupcakes, scones and cheesecakes spiked with pumpkin. And then, there's the spread known as pumpkin butter- which quite frankly I had never heard of before moving stateside.
On that last thought, I started to think of pumpkin jam. How come we don't see much of that, and most importantly: are we missing out on something really good over here?!
With the logic that everyone (almost) loves jam and that everyone (almost) loves pumpkin, how could I go wrong...I had to make it! And I can confirm that I made it with no regrets. It was delicious on a toasty slice of bread rubbed with butter and washed down with a cup of coffee. And certainly will be making October mornings easier and tastier to wake up to.
It's beautiful, but a real pain to chop up and peel. To help fix that, I microwaved my pumpkin in 3-4 sequences of 60 seconds. It certainly made the rest a lot easier for me.
Don't throw the seeds out!
Lots of sugar, lots of diced up pumpkin...
From raw to ready- pumpkin jam on warm, buttered toast.
Equal parts pumpkin (peeled & chopped)
Equal parts sugar
Juice of 1 lemon (1 lemon for every 500gr/1lb of pumpkin)
Optional add-ons (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, anis, fennel, etc)
In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, sugar and lemon. Cover the bowl and leave overnight in the fridge.
The next day, transfer mixture into a deep pan and place on medium heat. Stir gently until the sugar begins to dissolve. Turn heat to high for 2-4 minutes. Return to a very low heat. If you have chosen to include any flavours, now's the time to add them. Cover pan and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes, making sure to stir every now and then. Remove, allow to cool and enjoy immediately. Note that pumpkin does not store well- so best to enjoy in the same day (make a small portion) or keep jar in fridge at all times.