Monday, September 30, 2013

Spiced pickled sugar pumpkin


Recently, my husband was visiting with his aunt and she mentioned that her grandmother used to make pumpkin pickles. She said she hadn't had them since she was a kid - so as soon as he told me about this, I was on the job! I had never heard of pumpkin pickles before, so at first I turned to Google and came up with a few recipes, including this one that I partially used as a guide. I also have this little Heinz pickling book from the 70s that my mom gave me. Low and behold, there was a recipe for pickled pumpkin in there as well. The main differences in the ones I read were the spices people used. For me, I wanted to go with spices I associate more with fall and pumpkins, so my adapted recipe is below. I tasted one of the pumpkin pieces before putting them in the jars and it was pretty good. They need to cure in the jars for at least two weeks before you eat them though, so I expect that the flavor will continue to improve and they will take in more of the spice flavors.

This recipe will make 4 pints of pickles. I think these will be a nice fall treat and a great addition to a holiday cheese plate or relish tray. I also think they are pretty unique and would be a lovely gift to bring to a fall dinner. I'm definitely enjoying learning more about canning and preserving foods this year. Our stash is growing every week!


Spiced pickled sugar pumpkin
8 cups sugar (pie) pumpkin that has been peeled, seeded, and diced into about 1-inch cubes (about 1 small-medium pumpkin)
3 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups filtered water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
15 cloves
5 1/4-inch thick slices of ginger root
5 black peppercorns

Prepare your water bath canner and jars. Place jar lids and rings in a small pot of simmering water. 

Heat the vinegar, water, and sugar together in a large, non-reactive pot. Stir frequently until the sugar is dissolved. Place the spices in a piece of cheesecloth and tie together with twine. Place in the liquid.

Add the pumpkin to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin pieces become fork-tender and turn translucent, about 35-40 minutes.

Ladle the pumpkin into sterilized canning jars. Cover with the brine leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. You may also place a couple pieces of whole spices into the jars, if desired. Wipe the rims of the jars.

Top with the lids and rings. Boil in the water bath canner for 20 minutes. Remove and place on a towel. Let sit for about 24 hours. Ensure the the lids pop and seal. Store in a cool, dark place for up to one year.


What was I cooking one year ago?: smoky pumpkin macaroni and cheese
Two years ago?: baked apple-cinnamon oatmeal
Three?: chicken with apple and shallot sauce

18 comments:

  1. This is so creative! Never would have thought to do this before but I love it :)

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  2. Ooh, I love the idea of pickling pumpkin - it looks SO good!

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  3. Really interesting, I've never seen it before either. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

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  4. Yum! These look delicious! I've never heard of pickled pumpkin before. I've always wanted to learn to can. Let me know how these taste in a few weeks! I'm excited to hear - because I'd like to try them!

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  5. What a great idea to try, my mind is wandering with pickling ideas now! ;)

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  6. I have never heard of pickled pumpkin! Looks gorgeous in the jars! Can't wait to hear how they turned out and what you did with them.

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  7. This is totally new to me Amy, I never had pickled pumpkin...sounds yum!
    Thanks for the recipe and have a great week Amy :D

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  8. Pickled pumpkin! Where have you been my entire life? These sound super tasty Amy! And they do look really pretty! They put me in the fall state of mind - I wasn't feeling it until now.

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  9. I've never heard of pumpkin pickles either; thank goodness you introduced me to them! These look so yummy and packed with fall flavors!

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  10. Gorgeous idea to make pumpkin pickles.
    Makes as well a wonderful giveaway !
    Thanks for sharing,Amy!

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  11. Pickled pumpkin. now that is pretty crazy! but I'm pretty sure it's something I need to try!

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  12. Hi Amy, something new to me but it look interesting. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Have a nice day.

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  13. pickled pumpkin, what! not only have i never tasted this, i've never seen--very clever and very enticing, amy!

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  14. This is such a great idea! And the finished jars would make the perfect Fall addition to any kitchen!

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  15. Gosh, great recipe. I've never preserved pumpkin, and it's a terrific idea. Thanks so much!

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  16. Well aren't these pretty jars of Fall! I can totally see these being on a cheese and meat try at a party. Love how you are so uninhibited to try new recipes like this.

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  17. I've never had pickled pumpkin before, but I bet I would like this! So pretty, too.

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