Punkin’ (Pumpkin) Jam


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: http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack


  1. Yum!! What a great pumpkin idea! Definitely not something I would have thought of, but something I want to try. Also never thought about how wasteful jack-o-lanterns are before, but I love that this cuts down on pumpkin waste.

  2. This sounds nice, I think I would be inclined to put a few spices in to make it more of a savoury jam, I think it’d go well in a ham sandwich.

  3. There’s a dominican recipe called ‘Flan de Auyama’ which uses the flesh of west indian pumpkin. It’s a dessert, like a creme caramel and it’s delicious. There many variations of the recipe online, some in spanish but in english too.
    By the way, congratulations for being included in the #elleinspire section of the December issue. Love the photo!

  4. Made this today, and was unable to keep in fridge……………….we ate it all 🙂 its fandabbydosey on toast/muffins. Added some also to chilli mince in a wrap 🙂 x x x

  5. If you tighten the lids straight away, while the jam is really hot, a vacuum will form and no airborne mould spores will find their way in. I have been doing that for over thirty years.

    • But Ingrid, pumpkin is a low-acid food, even with the added sugar, and really needs pressure canning to be safe. Yes, a vacuum seal will form, but because the botulism organism LIKES a no-oxygen environment, if any is present it will grow in that jar, and you will not know it. The pressure canning ensures that the organism has a high enough heat/pressure that it dies if indeed it is present.
      I would hate to think of you, or anyone else, getting botulism because of an unsafe practice with this recipe.

  6. Just made some of this, as I had too much pumpkin to make it all into pumpkin pies. However we adore pumpkin pies, so added some spices to make pumpkin pie jam. a good tsp of mixed spice and just under a tsp of allspice… it smells amazing and I can’t wait to try it! Will have to look into storing it though, as I originally wanted to send some to my best friend for thanksgiving (as she is American)…

  7. Try it with a fresh cheese. In Portugal we eat it with requeijao. I don’t know what would be the British equivalent. Cottage cheese?

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