Sewing, craft and other musings

Sunday, 9 February 2014

It's pumpkin night tonight!

Last year I was fortunate enough that my husband dug me out a vegetable patch of my very own. It had been one of my many dreams. I wanted to be able to grow and then make stuff with the vegetables that I grew.

However, last January I fell pregnant which kind of put the dampners on anything that involved a lot of bending down for long periods of time so I needed to plant stuff that would be easy to maintain.

I also had a major store of vegetable seeds that I had been hoarding for as long as me and my husband had been living together (at that time three years!) and couldn't wait to see what I could grow.

The most successful vegetable of the patch was also the one that managed to take over most of the surrounding lawn too - my pumpkins!

Out of the patch I managed to get two huge pumpkins.
The problem with pumpkins is that they take hours to carve up and it also takes time trying to find different recipes to try to use it!

I was given a book for Christmas from my dad which is 'Jams, Pickles and Chutneys' by Midge Thomas - from a series of books by the WI. (See link below!) The ingredients needed were:
1.5 kg pumpkin flesh (no pith or seeds)
1.3kg granulated sugar
675g prepared oranges
675g prepared lemons
1 litre of water

I adjusted the recipe and swopped the ginger for cinnamon as I am not a big fan of ginger.

Also needed is a jam pan, jam funnel, wooden spoon and jars.

So the original recipe requires you to prepare your lemons and oranges. I have to admit that I don't want to faff too much so bought my oranges and lemons in tin form... Just as good!

The pumpkin, oranges, lemons and water go into the pan together and then are brought to the boil and then the heat is turned down to a simmer.

This simmer is to soften the pumpkin though in the original recipe it is to soften the peel of the citrus fruits.

Once the pumpkin softened I added the sugar and then turned the heat up to bring it to a boil again. Once boiling I brought the heat down to a medium heat and then waited.

I needed to wait for the mixture to thicken enough for the spoon to leave a clear path at the bottom of the pan ... I didn't wait that long to be honest as I wasn't sure if the fact that I had used tinned oranges and lemons might have affected its setting point so I experimented with how quickly it set on a back of a cold spoon and was satisfied that it would set once jarred up.

The jars had been sterilised earlier in the process in my daughters bottle steriliser (so little hassle!) and were ready to be filled.

I am pleased with the finished product - though it seemed to take a lot longer than the recipe specified. The marmalade tastes good on toast.

Thank you WI for this amazing recipe for using a monster of a pumpkin!
P.s. I love the Kilner range of preserving stuff so that is why I have put links for them here too!

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