If you've never had the pleasure of tasting pumpkin jam, you've missed out on something incredibly delicious! No worries though, you can make it yourself in less than 30 minutes!
What in the world is pumpkin jam? I thought you might be asking that question. It's a delicious, sweet concoction made with, you guessed it, pumpkin. This particular version also has fresh ginger and warm spices, hints of apple and a touch of heat. It's fabulous with cheeseboards, on biscuits, toast, sandwiches, yogurt, oatmeal...
My first experience with pumpkin jam was this past summer while on our trip to the French Alps. With Italy being in such close proximity we had arranged, in advance, a one-day Italian cooking class. It was a lovely experience spent with a seasoned Italian cook (Franca) in her home. There were lots of highlights from the day, one of them being a fabulous Mint Pesto that I recreated after returning to France. Another was a small jar of pumpkin compote that Franca gifted us with when we left.
We loved the delicious pumpkin concoction and several evenings (while in France) we made a cheese board for dinner with fresh French bread (available around every corner in the little village where we stayed), various cheeses, charcuterie, olives, sliced apples and the small jar of Franca's pumpkin jam as a condiment.
As soon as I tasted the pumpkin compote, I knew that I'd have to figure out how to make it. I wrote to Franca and when she sent the recipe I was delighted. It was a fairly long process though which involved peeling and cutting up a whole pumpkin, cooking it on the stovetop followed by an overnight rest and then more cooking. Being a bit lazy, I hoped that I could come up with something similar, but less time-consuming.
A fairly common condiment
When we returned to France after our cooking adventure in Italy, we discovered that pumpkin compote (or jam, as we might call it here in the States) is also quite common in France. It's called Confiture De Citrouille and is sold in many little shops as a condiment to serve with cheese or to spread on bread. I loved the fancy French name so decided to incorporate it into my recipe.
While doing some research, I discovered that, in addition to Italy and France, pumpkin jam is also a very everyday condiment in Portugal and Brazil where it's "served for dessert or as a snack, accompanied with fresh cheese or cream cheese, and it is also used to fill biscuits and cakes", according to Sabor Brasil.
A delightful surprise
As I mentioned above, I wanted to come up with a pumpkin jam that was equally delicious but a little less work and after several attempts, I'm really happy with this shortcut method. After peeling and cubing a whole pumpkin, I wondered if canned pumpkin puree would work just as well. I was pleasantly surprised with the results!
Starting with a can of pumpkin puree, I added sugar, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, warm spices, a pinch of salt and a tiny scoop of chili garlic sauce for a little savory heat. Then it was just a matter of reducing the mixture until it was nice and thick and super fragrant. It takes about 15-20 minutes with frequent stirring so it's a good project to do if you're going to be in the kitchen anyway.
Is pumpkin puree the same as canned pumpkin?
What is pumpkin puree? You may know it as simply "canned pumpkin". They're the same thing, just depends on the company that makes it. Most grocery stores carry pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin, as it's a super popular item for making pumpkin pie and other pumpkin desserts. What you don't want for this recipe is "pumpkin pie filling" as that has lots of other ingredients added to it in addition to pumpkin.
How to use Pumpkin Jam
How to use this pumpkin jam? I'm discovering more and more things to do with it as I've got a nice supply right now.
- It's a fabulous condiment to serve on a cheese or charcuterie board. It's actually a fun conversation starter because many people have never tasted pumpkin jam and their first question is "what is this delicious stuff?".
- Use it as a sandwich spread. It's delicious with roasted chicken, turkey or pork.
- Spoon it over grilled pork or serve in small bowls on the side for dipping.
- Serve it with yogurt and this Double Almond Paleo Granola for a delicious way to start a fall day!
- Spoon a little on your oatmeal for a delicious variation. Top it with some toasted pecans!
- Spread it on biscuits, toast, English muffins, scones... you name it!
- Give it as a gift! Make a pretty little gift bag with a wedge of great cheese, a package of nice crackers and a jar of this fun pumpkin jam. Another idea is to combine a jar of this delightful condiment with a little bag of candied pecans and a log of goat cheese. Or make some of these copycat Raincoast Crackers and surprise your friends with pumpkin jam and fancy gourmet crackers (that you can make for a fraction of the cost).
- And if you're giving it as a gift, we've got some free printable labels to pizzazz up your pumpkin jam (below).
To receive the free printable labels in your email, simply scroll to the comment section below then scroll to the very bottom and leave us a comment, letting us know you'd like the labels. We'll email them to you with instructions on how to use them. We'll send both a horizontal label and a set of round labels as pictured below
Although there are SO many things to do with this delicious pumpkin jam, one of our favorites is to spoon it over goat cheese or cream cheese and top it with some candied pecans and a shower of fresh thyme leaves.
Oh my, what a wonderful combination! Just beware, as the plate might get licked clean.
You definitely want this unique, delicious condiment in your recipe arsenal. If you've never made jam or jelly before, this pumpkin jam is the perfect place to start, as it's pretty fail-proof and doesn't require any pectin. Pick up some pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin) next time you're at the grocery store and whip up a batch (or two). EVERYONE will be SO happy you did!
Cafe Tips for making this Pumpkin Jam (Confiture De Citrouille)
- I like to use my tallest pot for making this pumpkin jam as it tends to spatter a bit as it gets thicker near the end. The tall pot keeps my stovetop a little tidier.
- It's important when cooking this jam to stir frequently. It doesn't have to be continually stirred but give it a good stir and scrape down the sides of the pot every few minutes. I like to use a heat-resistant silicone spatula for stirring jam. I love this set with the wooden handles. They are also great for stirring up batters for cookies and cakes.
- It's also important that the burner heat is only under the pot, particularly with a gas stovetop. If the flames are outside of the bottom of the pot, the jam will burn to the sides of the pot.
- This recipe calls for chili garlic sauce. Chili garlic sauce is a delicious condiment that adds a bit of heat to this pumpkin jam. Definitely start with the half teaspoon (it has a lot of oomph!) that's recommended in the recipe and taste the finished product. You can always add more, but you can't take the heat away one you've put it in.
- If you're not sure if your jam is done, turn off the heat and spoon a bit onto a small plate. Stick the plate in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes then check the jam. If you'd like it a little thicker, bring the mixture to a boil again for 4-5 minutes.
- If you end up with jam that is a little too thick, just add a little water, a tablespoon at a time, and stir well until desired consistency is reached.
Thought for the day:
For you know that it was not with perishable things
such as silver or gold that you were redeemed
from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,
but with the precious blood of Christ,
a lamb without blemish or defect.
He was chosen before the creation of the world,
but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
1 Peter 1:18-20
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- 1 15-ounce can (425 g) pumpkin puree sometimes just called "pumpkin"
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups apple cider
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground or dry nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon teaspoon salt
Wash jars and lids (tops) in hot soapy water or run through the dishwasher.
Combine all ingredients in a large pot or Dutch oven and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Maintain a steady boil and cook for 15-20 minutes stirring frequently to keep the jam from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Each time you stir, also scrape down the sides of the pot. I like to use a silicone heat-resistant spatula for stirring and scraping.
Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the jam has reduced by over half and is beginning to thicken. Jam will thicken more as it cools. Transfer to clean jars and cover with lids. Allow to cool to room temperature then refrigerate or freeze
See Cafe Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
This recipe makes 3-3½ cups of pumpkin jam. The number of jars you get will depend on the size of your jars.