Dear Reader, use up any leftover pumpkin with this gorgeous pumpkin jam! I was so excited about this pumpkin jam recipe, mainly because I have never tried it before and didn't know how it would taste. Would it be good or would it be odd? After having tried it I can tell you that pumpkin jam is delicious! This jam uses less sugar than other jams but is still perfectly sweet. Coupled with apples, lemon and vanilla, it has now become a favourite in our household.
You can use raw pumpkin chunks or if you're like me and tend to roast a whole pumpkin and then you've got a whole lot to eat then you can also use pre-cooked pumpkin. I didn't use packet pectin, I like my jam a bit looser in texture but I did use the natural pectin from the lemon and apple peels and seeds.
Apart from some jars of pumpkin jam, I also have some new things in my kitchen. Check out Sherry's fab blog to see what everyone else has in their kitchen. The first is a pot of garlic flowers. I visited Mayfield Garden in Oberon in the Blue Mountains and I was besotted by these purple flowers that taste like a cross between onion and garlic. Chef Dan Child told me that he uses them in place of both at times but they can be quite strong (and yes they are!). I reaaaally hope I don't kill these fingers crossed.
The next is a toast rack. I've been looking for one for a while now, ever since I had a cocktail served with marmalade and toast in the U.K. and this was an absolute steal for $3 at the cat protection society store in Enmore!
The next item is from Kings Cross Markets. I went early with sometime vegetarian friend Laura and I saw a big pile of these carrots. An hour later they were almost all gone so I quickly bought them. I ended up just roasting these with honey and goat's cheese and they were delicious!
The next item was sent to me by Local Craft in Melbourne. You perhaps know of how much I adore home made vs bought if possible and if you were to make a chocolate hazelnut spread this might be it. This is gorgeously smooth and rich. The top ingredient is hazelnuts (36% no less) and then comes sugar, cocoa powder and vegetable oil. It tastes rich and chocolatey as it has three times as many hazelnuts than other spreads. It is gluten free (although most chocolate hazelnut spreads are) but it is also palm oil free and vegan. You can buy it online for $13.50 a jar or at their store at 2/50 Commercial Place, Keilor, Victoria (where they sell all sorts of vegan products).
A couple of weeks ago I wrote how much Mr NQN loves marmalade. Then Dear Reader Romany S. sent me a card with a picture of marmalade and a copy of her favourite piece of writing about marmalade by Helen Garner because she too obsessed with the stuff! Isn't that funny? I loved her card with the picture of three glowing jars of orange marmalade, the zest throwing almost patterns in the light.
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your favourite jam? Do you love marmalade too? And what sort of jam consistency do you like? Firm or soft?
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Makes 3 x 350ml jars of jam
- 2 x smallish Granny Smith apples (around 250g/8.8ozs.)
- 600g/21.2ozs. pumpkin chunks
- 250ml-350ml (8.8-12.4flozs.) water
- 1 lemon
- 275g/9.7ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Step 1 - Peel the apples and core them but keep the skin and core. Peel the lemon and juice it also keeping the seeds and peel. Place the apple and lemon peels in a square of muslin cloth and tie with string.
Step 2 - In a saucepan, place 250ml/1 cup of the water, pumpkin, apple and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil with the muslin package (this will help to extract the pectin). Simmer with the lid on until the apple is translucent and the pumpkin is soft (add more water if needed, you want there to be some water which will thicken from the pectin from the peels). Cool the mixture until cool enough to handle and squeeze all the liquid from the muslin pouch. Puree the mixture until smooth.
Step 3 - Return the puree to the saucepan and add the sugar and vanilla to taste. Place in hot sterilised jars*. This can keep for months if you get a good seal in the lid or you can also can it and it will last for a year.
To sterilise jars, heat the jars and lids in a 100C/212F for 15 minutes. Make sure the jars are hot when you put the hot jam in it (the glass will crack if it is cold).