Monday, 3 November 2014

Pumpkin & Ginger Jam

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Wow! Pumpkin jam, where have you been all my life? I cannot thank @MsJackMonroe enough for her post about pumpkin jam. On reading her post about making pumpkin jam, I went to my mother’s old 1963 Marguerite Patten Jams Pickles and Chutneys cookbook (otherwise known as my jam and chutney making Bible) and found several recipes for pumpkin jam. The first, simply called Pumpkin Jam, contained ginger and lemon juice. The next, Pumpkin & Lemon had more lemon, and the third was Pumpkin & Orange. But it was the first, and the almost hidden detail of ginger that caught my eye, and taste buds.

I have just finished making my first ever five pots of what I shall be calling Pumpkin & Ginger Jam when I sell some at Alresford Country Market. In the between typing I will be scraping out my saucepan for the very last smear of deliciousness.

First, its colour is fantastic. It is translucent, almost glowing in the jar. Second, it’s taste. I tried to mathematically proportion down from the original recipe the amount of ginger for the amount of pumpkin I had. I applied my best GCSE maths and, I believe, have come out with the correct proportion.  But, for a jam that just calls itself simply ‘pumpkin jam’,  it has one hell of a warming gingery kick to it.  As I have said, however, I am still enjoying it still warm out of the saucepan, and maybe the gingeriness will calm a little when cool.  However, for this reason though, I do not feel I could sell it at the Country Market without making some mention of ginger in its name for fear of startling the pensioners who are our customer base. 

Sadly 1kg of pumpkin only gives 5 small jars of jam. Luckily I do have another 4kg of dismembered pumpkin in my freezer.  Next year I may magic the kids pumpkins away even sooner and just blame it on the witches.

1kg skinned, cubed, boiled, & drained pumpkin
1kg sugar
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
40g root ginger

Skin the ginger and finely chop.  Add to the pan with the rest of the ingredients.  When the sugar has dissolved, use a stick blender to puree everything in the pan.  Bring it to the boil and stir regularly for 20 minutes.  Test for a set on a very cold saucer and continue boiling and stirring for another 5 minutes and repeat the process.  It took about half an hour for mine to reach the consistency I wanted.

Seal in sterilised jam jars.

And this newfound joy that is the marriage of pumpkin and ginger has given me a great idea for the 24 little cakes I have to make for school cafe tomorrow…Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Original Marguerite Patten recipe
Cooking Time 40 minutes
3lb pumpkin
3lb sugar
Zest & juice of 2 lemons
2oz root ginger
1. Boil the pumpkin until tender
2. Drain well and mash thoroughly
3. Add the lemon rind and juice
4.  Add ginger cut into neat pieces.
5.  Bring to the boil
6. Add sugar and stir until dissolved
7.  Boil for 20 minutes or until thick

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