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Pumpkin Jam makes the most out of squash season, lusciously smooth, sweet and rich with savoury pumpkin notes and scented lightly with vanilla and nutmeg for a comforting Autumn preserve.
When I sold my homemade preserves at the local farmers' market the best part was coming up with really fun and unexpected flavours which were certainly delicious but were also such fun to talk about with my customers. This Pumpkin Jam was always a talking point.
Actually it was Luke who gave me the inspiration to develop this recipe for Pumpkin Puree Jam one year. It was late in the season, my jam stock was dwindling and we were looking for alternatives to the Apple Butters and Pear Jams. My husband was always the unsung hero of the preserves side of the business and always had great ideas for new recipes and experimenting with flavour combinations.
Table of contents
Why you'll love this recipe
- This doesn't have to be a solely pumpkin puree jam. A variety of mixed squash will imbue the jam with many levels of flavour.
- Deep rich, and subtle vegetal flavour.
- Not too sweet.
- Delicately scented with a touch of vanilla and nutmeg.
- The perfect jam to make when you have a lot of pumpkin flesh to use up.
How do you eat Pumpkin Jam?
- Like all jam, its uses shouldn’t just stop at toast and crumpets.
- I love to use this Pumpkin Puree Jam for filling a Victoria Sponge
- It's a gorgeous accompaniment to cheese. Believe me, this pumpkin jam goes particularly well with a mature cheddar.
- Try Pumpkin Jam smeared onto your pork chops or chicken breasts before grilling or as a sweetener in sauces.
- A really secret trick to an amazing Cheese Quiche is actually to include a couple of tablespoons of jam to the filling before baking. Try it, I urge you! This Pumpkin Jam is the perfect choice.
- Fresh pumpkin puree jam. The puree is easy to make yourself from fresh pumpkins or other seasonal squash (method below)
- Jam sugar. There is not a lot of pectin in pumpkins so it does need a little help with jam sugar which is white sugar with added pectin.
- Orange. A warming citrussy vibe.
- Lemon. For a fresh tang.
- Vanilla bean. The notes of vanilla are simply delicious you can substitute for vanilla extract or vanilla paste.
- Nutmeg. This spice is a perfect accompaniment to the pumpkin
- Salt. It brings out all the other flavours.
How to make pumpkin puree
- To make the puree, peel and de-seed fresh seasonal pumpkins.
- Cube the pumpkin flesh and steam until tender.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the softened pumpkin into a thick puree.
Would it surprise you to know that Libby's tinned/canned pumpkin isn't actually pumpkin at all. It's a variety of butternut squash which they named the Dickinson pumpkin. So rest assured, if you don't have any pumpkins to hand this jam can be made with any kind of seasonal squash. Butternut Squash Jam is particularly flavoursome
How to make the jam
- Warm the pumpkin puree in a large preserving pan.
- Once heated, add the sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, salt, vanilla bean seeds and nutmeg. Stir together and turn up the heat to dissolved the sugar.
- Bring to a rolling boil then boil for between 5-10 minutes until the jam reaches setting point.
- Decant your jam into sterilised jars.
TIP: Stir very regularly as this is a lovely thick jam and it can catch at the bottom of the pan.
How do you know when your jam is ready?
The jam is ready when it reaches 104°C or passes the saucer wrinkle test.
The saucer wrinkle test
The saucer wrinkle test 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 for another 3-5 minutes, then test again with another saucer.
How to store your jam
Use sterilised jars and lids to store the jam. The jam does not need to be sealed with a water bath as there is enough sugar to preserve the jam.
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 recommend sterilising lids in the oven as they tend to ruin.
More seasonal jam recipes
- Seedless Wild Blackberry Lime Jam
- Damson Orange and Cinnamon Jam
- Baked Apple Butter
- Green Plum Jam
- Pear and Cobnut Jam
If you make this Pumpkin Jam then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.
- 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
- 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.
- Once the puree has heated up then pour in the jam sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, salt, vanilla bean seeds and nutmeg.
- Stir everything together and turn up the heat to dissolve the sugar.
- 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.
- Once the jam reaches 104°C or passes the saucer wrinkle test* then decant into sterilised jars*.