Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pumpkin Vanilla Jam

If you want to put pumpkin pie on your toast, then this is the jam recipe for you.  It isn't my recipe, another from Mes Confitures...this is maybe my 4th or 5th post where I have mentioned this wonderful if you make jam, or want to make jam, you should get this book!  I made this recipe with a few changes, though.  I used mini-pie pumpkins, didn't include the vanilla beans in the jars, added cinnamon, and I slightly pureed the julienned pumpkin flesh.  I just couldn't deal with the thought of taking a bite of a chunk o' pumpkin.  Kinda sounded yucky, actually - I'm really sensitive to textures in foods.  Sidebar:  At which point is a recipe yours when you make so many changes? 

The resulting jam is so delicious...really, just put it on a great artisan bread, warmed will love it.  :-)  But first, a few words of caution about canning with pumpkin.  If you read Mes Confitures, the beginning of the book describes Christine Ferber's method for making jams and jellies.  She says she uses the method of sealing the lids by turning the jars upside-down directly after pouring the jam in the jars.  I have used this method before, and it works, but is less reliable than a water bath or a pressure cooker.  Regardless of the method of canning you use, however, the USDA does not recommend canning pumpkin in any form other than cubed flesh. 

Otherwise, it is recommended to refrigerate or freeze pumpkin purees, butters, etcetera.  Read here for the guidelines and here for a no-nonsense explanation of why.  So in making this recipe, I got to thinking, 'How is this recipe in this well-known book, and it's pumpkin?'  Surely it doesn't cause botulism or we would know about it, right?  I have made 4 of Christine Ferber's jams and jellies now, and I will say there seems to be a few things lost in translation and the measurement equivalents are not always perfect, so perhaps there is something missing in terms of properly canning this wonderful pumpkin jam.  Perhaps the intent is to refrigerate and eat within a few weeks.  Or maybe not.  This recipe calls for more than your usual amount of fresh lemon and orange juice, which increases the acidity quite a bit.  Also, a lot of sugar is required.  You could reduce the amount of sugar and possibly get an even better-tasting jam.  But sugar is the preservative in most jam and jelly recipes, so my thought is that you shouldn't reduce the sugar content.  This recipe is probably okay for a water bath seal, but there is no guarantee.  Currently, the 8 jars I made are in the fridge for safekeeping.  I plan on sharing them with a word of caution so they don't go to waste.  It really tastes amazing!
Pumpkin Vanilla Jam with Artisan Dutch Crunch Bread


  1. sounds yummy - too bad I live so far away :(

  2. I know...I just don't think it's a good idea to ship it, you could get sick. :-(

  3. Does look yummy wish I were motivated to go through all that trouble:)