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The smallest girl in our household calls pumpkins ‘punkins’ – hence the name ‘Punkin Jam’! If you think carving pumpkins are bland and boring and inedible, this might just be the thing to change your mind… I’m typing this with some hot buttered toast between my teeth with some soft, sweet jam on top… And that handsome chap in the background is Rob, carving our punkin into a fiendishly good lantern…
The usual rules of jam making apply, equal weights of fruit (or in this case, pumpkin) to sugar. I didn’t add any citrus to help it set, but if you’re worried, a squeeze of lemon or orange or lime wouldn’t go amiss…
First weigh your pumpkin flesh, or purée if you did as I did yesterday and boiled and blitzed it while you worked out what to do with it. Make a note of the weight (for this little jar I used 150g, but I only wanted to make a small amount as I have Grand And Exciting Plans for all that pumpkin purée – the trials of being a recipe blogger…)
Tip the weighed-out flesh/purée into a saucepan, and add the same amount of sugar (150g, in my case). Heat gently to melt the sugar, adding a splash of water if you’re using flesh not purée, to soften it. Cook on a low, slow heat to soften (2 minutes for purée, around 20 for scraped-out flesh, with a little extra water added as you go.)
Bring to the boil, stirring to stop it from sticking and burning at the bottom of the pan, and boil rapidly for a few minutes before reducing to a medium heat.
When it is smooth, thick and glossy, remove a teaspoon and dollop it onto a saucer to test and see if it will set. Leave it for a minute, then gently prod with your finger; if it wrinkles slightly, or sticks tacky to your finger, you’re good to go. If not, keep heating and stirring for a few more minutes, then test again.
When it’s ready, pour into jars, balance the lids on top and leave to cool completely, then seal.
Enjoy on toast, or in a sandwich with cheese…
Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe. Facebook: www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack