Pumpkin Jam

Pumpkin Jam makes the most out of squash season, lusciously smooth, rich with savoury pumpkin notes and scented lightly with vanilla and nutmeg for a comforting Autumn preserve.

overhead shot of pumpkin jam with a spoon in it surrounded by pumpkins

This year, due to being on maternity leave, I have completely taken a break from producing any preserves for the market stall. I return to the market stall next weekend and know I am going to seriously regret this decision as my stall won’t look as plump or lively without the mountains of jars interspersed between all the cake. Plus I really love selling the preserves.

overhead shot of pumpkins

The best part about making the jams, chutneys, ketchups and sauces for the stall is coming up with really fun and unexpected flavours which are always so delicious and fun to talk about with my customers. Plus it’s the one area of my business that Luke gets really involved in so it is something we can do together. He is just as passionate as me about the ingredients and loves to help me source them. As a family we adore foraging and a lot of my jams are either made from produce foraged locally in North London or from local producers, usually from our friends at the market. Luke gave me the inspiration to develop this recipe for Pumpkin Jam last year when my jam stock was dwindling. I make my jams in very small batches so once it’s gone, it’s gone until the next year and with new seasons comes new flavours.

The farmers market at this time of year always has an abundance of pumpkin and mixed squash and as soon as he had given me the idea to look outside the confines of fruit I couldn’t wait to try out Autumn’s bounty. Obviously the Pumpkin Jam was hugely successful or I wouldn’t be sharing the recipe with you today. It’s one of the few preserves that I have made for personal use this year as I just couldn’t let squash season pass us by without a few jars of Pumpkin Jam to keep us going.

side on shot of pumpkin jam with a spoon in it surrounded by pumpkins

Like all jam, its uses shouldn’t just stop at toast and crumpets. I use jam mostly for filling a Victoria Sponge or as an accompaniment to cheese. Believe me, this pumpkin jam goes particularly well with a mature cheddar. Try jam smeared onto your pork chops or chicken breasts before grilling or as a sweetener in sauces.

Although I have to confess that I didn’t just stop at pumpkin in this jam. Instead I used a variety of mixed squash which imbues the jam with many levels of flavour. I decided against adding cinnamon to this Pumpkin Jam. Sacrilege I know. I literally had to hold my hand back from automatically picking up the cinnamon jar. But I’m glad I did as the cinnamon would have interfered too much with the deep notes of the pumpkin. To compliment the squash I added just a hint of vanilla and nutmeg which turned out to be exactly the right thing to do.

overhead shot of pumpkin jam with a spoon in it surrounded by pumpkins

Time will tell whether I’ll be able to bring the preserves back next year but in the meantime I probably won’t be able to resist making my gorgeous mincemeats and cranberry sauce for Christmas. However, until I decide exactly what I’m going to do about the preserves on the stall moving forward, at least I’ll have my own personal Pumpkin Jam for company.

Print Recipe
Pumpkin Jam
Pumpkin Jam is lusciously smooth, rich with savoury pumpkin notes and scented lightly with vanilla and nutmeg for a comforting Autumn preserve.
overhead shot of pumpkin jam with a spoon in it surrounded by pumpkins
Course jam
Cuisine British
Keyword pumpkin
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
8 180ml jars
Ingredients
  • 1 kg fresh pumpkin puree*
  • 1 kg jam sugar
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped out
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
Course jam
Cuisine British
Keyword pumpkin
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
8 180ml jars
Ingredients
  • 1 kg fresh pumpkin puree*
  • 1 kg jam sugar
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped out
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
overhead shot of pumpkin jam with a spoon in it surrounded by pumpkins
Instructions
  1. Pour the pumpkin puree into a large preserving pan. Turn onto a gentle heat and begin to warm the puree, stirring to avoid burning on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Once the puree has heated up then pour in the jam sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, salt, vanilla bean seeds and nutmeg.
  3. Stir everything together and turn up the heat to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Bring to a rolling boil, making sure to stir the bottom of the pan frequently so the jam doesn’t stick. It should take 5-10 minutes from then to reach setting point.
  5. Once the jam reaches 104°C or passes the saucer wrinkle test* then decant into sterilised jars*.
Recipe Notes

*You can use just pumpkin puree or a variety of mixed squash to reach 1kg

*The saucer wrinkle test basically requires you to put about 5 saucers in your freezer when you begin making your jam. Once you think the jam might be ready then you can double check by removing a saucer from the freezer, dropping a teaspoon of jam on it then placing the saucer in the fridge. After about 30 seconds remove the saucer and push the jam with your finger. If it wrinkles up it’s ready, if it just pools back into the space your finger has left then it needs more bubbling time. Boil it a bit longer, then test again with another saucer.

*To sterilise the jars place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes with a splash of vinegar. I don’t sterilise my lids in the oven as they tend to ruin.

SHOP THE RECIPE

You don’t need much equipment for jam making but there are a few bits and pieces I rely upon.

My favourite way to make my small batch jams is in my Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Round Casserole, 28 cm – Marseille Blue. It’s very heavy duty but I use it for absolutely everything from pot roasts, stews and stocks to making jams and chutneys. It’s large enough that it is great for so many purposes from sweet to savoury. I have the signature marseille blue colour as when I bought it I wanted it to match the old Le Creuset saucepans handed down to me from my dad but you can get them in other beautiful colours. Different colours are different prices so you can definitely get a good deal if you choose a less popular colour.

A jam funnel is essential and I use this cheap and cheerful KitchenCraft Home Made Stainless Steel Jam Funnel

You will soon wonder how you got by without using jam jar tongs which means you can pick up piping hot jars confidently. I love these Kilner Jam Jar Sterilising Tongs, Steel, Silver/Red, 6 x 10 x 24 cm

This post is not sponsored but the links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad

Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad combines sweetly caramelised roasted butternut squash, cream and cooling goats cheese with fruity muscat grapes with a garlicky blackberry vinaigrette. A fully satisfying salad as a main meal or a delicious accompaniment as part of a larger meal.

Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad

So the full title of this salad is Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad with Radicchio, Sorrel, Muscat Grapes and Garlicky Blackberry Vinaigrette which would definitely have been the longest recipe title on the blog. Every ingredient is so important in this salad. Oh, and pumpkin seeds. Sorry pumpkin seeds – you know this salad wouldn’t be the same without your good time crunch. Oh, and the rocket – but he’s used to his time in the sun so I don’t feel too guilty about that.

So this is the salad that I have been chowing down on for weeks. I am in the zone. It all started when I chanced upon this year’s bounteous crop of radicchio and sorrel at the farmer’s market. I am an absolute sucker for the bitterness of radicchio and the lemon twang of sorrel, they both make salads so interesting. It’s such a shame that the supermarkets don’t stock more salad leaves individually so unless we are able to get to a good farmer’s market or grocers we are subject to a boring mix of floppy bland leaves whose fate will only ever be to wither and die in a corner of our fridges.

Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad

I think the reason this salad has worked so well for me these past few weeks is that it is so quick to put together, an absolute must since I rarely have more than ten minutes to make lunch and shovel it in whilst my eight-month old is amusing himself for a few moments smushing up his own lunch in his little fist and smearing it all over his face.

Since weaning Cole I have made it a thing to have several tubs of pre-roasted vegetables in my fridge so I can feed him quickly and efficiently but this has also proved invaluable for getting me back on track to a relatively balanced diet. As he’s eating breakfast or having a rare moment of independent play I will happily peel, de-seed, chop and roast a butternut squash or slam some quartered aubergines or courgettes in the oven. Preparing butternut squashes is one of my kitchen peeves but it doesn’t seem so bad if you are not doing it at the beginning of the long road to dinner.

I don’t know why I never thought to run my kitchen in such an organised fashion before, it has made tossing a lunch or dinner together so easy. I initially roast the veg without any salt (we’re in baby country now) or flavouring and then if I’m preparing my own dinner I can give them a 10 minute blast in the oven with all the spices and seasoning in the world and bob’s your bingo they are ready to go. I swear I think I have revolutionised meal prep in my kitchen forever more.

Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad

So all the leaves are torn, the goats cheese crumbled, the squash roasted with some shawarma spices, the heady sweet muscat grapes chopped and the pumpkin seeds are scattered so all that is left to do is the dressing.

Now, here’s where you’re going to feel a bit swizzed with this recipe since the key ingredient of my dressing is homemade blackberry vinegar – a really easy ingredient to source if you spend your late summers bottling vinegars, keeping them under the bed for the rest of the year. However, if you don’t do this then you really should. No, what I meant to say is that if you don’t do this then you might need to do a bit of a search in some specialist online food shops or beg a bottle off your local preserver. If there’s a WI near you, someone will be bottling their own fruit vinegars – guaranteed – and you needn’t be too fussy as any fruity vinegar will do in a pinch. The joy of them is that they imbue such a sweetly rounded flavour to the finished dressing so that all you really need to do is whisk in a bit of Dijon, some seasoning, garlic and then your olive oil.

Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad

The salad is absolutely lovely on its own and serves a good lunch for two, however if you wanted to use it as a side for a bit of grilled lamb or a roast chicken then you will be seriously pleased you did.

Print Recipe
Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad
Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad combines sweetly caramelised roasted butternut squash, cream and cooling goats cheese with fruity muscat grapes with a garlicky blackberry vinaigrette
Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad
Course salad
Cuisine British
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
2 people
Ingredients
  • ½ small butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • ½ teaspoon shawarma spice blend
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100 g goats cheese crumbled
  • large handful of radicchio roughly torn
  • small handful of sorrel roughly chopped
  • large handful of rocket
  • small handful muscat grapes halved
  • small handful of pumpkin seeds
For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons blackberry vinegar or any other fruity vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • ½ garlic clove crushed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Course salad
Cuisine British
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
2 people
Ingredients
  • ½ small butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • ½ teaspoon shawarma spice blend
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100 g goats cheese crumbled
  • large handful of radicchio roughly torn
  • small handful of sorrel roughly chopped
  • large handful of rocket
  • small handful muscat grapes halved
  • small handful of pumpkin seeds
For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons blackberry vinegar or any other fruity vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • ½ garlic clove crushed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad
Instructions
  1. Toss the butternut squash pieces with the spices, olive oil and a bit of seasoning and roast in an oven pre-heated to 170°C for about 20-25 minutes. When ready remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature whilst you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. In a large salad bowl throw together the goats cheese, radicchio, sorrel, rocket and grapes and set aside whilst you prepare the dressing.
  3. Whisk the blackberry vinegar with the mustard and plenty of salt and pepper until smooth then add the garlic clove.
  4. Keep whisking the dressing then drizzle in the olive oil slowly until the dressing has completely emulsified.
  5. Add the butternut squash to the rest of the salad and then pour the dressing over using a judicious hand.
  6. Finally serve, scattering the pumpkin seeds over as you do.

SHOP THE RECIPE

For the shawarma seasoning blend I use Shawarma Seasoning. Middle East Spices. Their blends are fresh and flavourful and the shawarma spices work extremely well in this recipe.

The links above are affiliate links so if you decide to buy anything using the links given then I will get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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