Pumpkin Pickles

I took a walk yesterday and every ware I looked I saw jack-o-lanterns withering away on front porches, steps, and fences.  The once scary faces turning sad and droopy as the pumpkin breaks down.

It made me wonder how many die is this way and what we could do with them.  Other than pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie I really don't use it that much.

I found this recipe in my canning book and decided to give it a go.  It is a work in progress so I will keep you posted on the final verdict.

Pumpkin Pickle Recipe


1 5 pound pie pumpkin (avoid the monster pumpkins used for carving–too stringy)
kosher salt (do NOT use iodized table salt) 
1 cups sugar 

1 cup white vinegar plus 3 cups vinegar (may use a mix of white and apple cider)
1 Tbs whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon plus
4 sticks cinnamon
1 Tbs whole allspice
fresh ginger, crushed
powdered alum
canning jars, bands and lids

  1. Peel and seed the pumpkin and cut into 1 inch cubes. Put in a glass bowl, pour water over to cover and add 4 tablespoons kosher salt for each quart of water. Leave the pumpkin overnight or for at least 5 hours.
  2. Next day, drain the pumpkin cubes and rinse them well. Rinse the bowl well and put the pumpkin back into the bowl. In a medium pan, combine 1 quart water, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of vinegar, 1 Tbs whole cloves, 1 stick cinnamon, 1 Tbs allspice and ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. This is a syrup so be careful that it doesn’t boil over or you’ll have a mess on your stove.
    Remove the pan from the heat and pour the syrup over the drained, rinsed pumpkin.
    Let stand in a cool place overnight (refrigerator is fine, but bring to room temp prior to packing into jars)
  3. The next day, get your jars and lids ready: Fill your canning pot (or any large stockpot) halfway with water and bring to a boil. Put your canning jars into the pot (either using your canning rack or a pair of tongs) and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Lids and bands can be sterilized separately in another pot of simmering water.You want the jars dry when you fill them so after the ten minutes, remove the jars with tongs and place on a clean, dry towel. Lids and bands can sit in the water until you’re ready.
    Make sure you have several clean, lint-free towels on hand. A wide-mouth canning funnel is very helpful, but not necessary.
    Keep the water in the canning pot boiling while you finish the next steps.
  4. Remove the pumpkin cubes from the syrup and distribute the cubes among your sterilized canning jars, filling the jars up to within 1 inch of the rim with pumpkin cubes. Break up the remaining cinnamon sticks and slide one piece down into each jar with the pumpkin.
  5. Pour the syrup into a saucepan and add 3 more cups of sugar and 3 more cups of vinegar. Bring back to a boil.  (I am cutting down on my sugar so I only used 1 cup sugar...  use your own judgement)
  6. Remove the syrup from the heat and ladle into the jars over the pumpkin cubes. Make sure the cloves and allspice are evenly distributed among the jars. Fill jars to within 1/2 inch of the top.Wipe the rims carefully with a damp lint-free towel and add one little pinch of powdered alum to each jar.
  7. Before placing lids on jars, wipe the rubber-coated outside perimeter free of water and place them squarely on the rims. Screw on the bands, firmly, but not too tight. Place the jars back into the boiling hot water bath and process for ten minutes.
  8. After processing, remove the jars and place on a  towel to cool. As they cool, the lids should snap down with an audible “pop.” This means the jar is sealed properly. If any of your lids do not pop down (or if you can still push the lid down) you can either re-process, or just put the jar in the fridge after it’s cool and use the pumpkin within 10 days.
    Leave the properly sealed jars in a cool place for at least 1 week before eating.  The longer they sit the better the flavor.

Let me know if you have any favorite pumpkin recipes.  I'm up for trying anything.

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