Recycle your jack-o’-lantern to make this delicious treat
Hallowe’en is almost upon us and lots of people will no doubt be carving pumpkins this weekend. I have some amazingly creative neighbours whose jack-o’-lanterns are truly Instagram-worthy. Not so much at our place, although we do make an effort with other decorations to be sure young trick-or-treaters know ours is a house that embraces all the fun of Hallowe’en. On October 31st, I always bring our pumpkin indoors from the porch before 9 pm, not to discourage the teenaged candy seekers, but to keep the squirrels from molesting it. I want it clean and ready for cooking up the next day. This year, I’ll be transforming my jack-o’-lantern into this delicious spiced pumpkin spread.
I was going to call this creation pumpkin jam, but since I didn’t add any pectin to the mixture, it really didn’t have a jammy texture. What it does have is a nice, spreadable consistency and tons of flavour. You can vary the spices; go ahead and add cinnamon if you’re one of those ‘pumpkin spice all the things’ people! It’s delicious on toast or muffins and would also be lovely with roasted meats or served with cheese. And if you’re wondering else you can make with pumpkin puree, this Pumpkin Pie Dip is pretty fantastic as well.
- 2 cups (500 mL) pumpkin puree (see note below)
- 1 cup (250 mL) lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) freshly ground cardamom seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground ginger
You can use canned pumpkin puree for this recipe, but I don’t recommend canned pumpkin pie filling as it’s overly sweetened. To cook up your own jack-o-lantern, slice it into 3 inch pieces and cut off the outer rind and any seeds. Place in a roasting pan with 1/4 inch of water and bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes (or longer, if necessary), until tender. Puree using a food processor or sturdy blender. Leftover pumpkin puree can be frozen or used in soups.
- Put all ingredients in a heavy pot, placed over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low so the mixture is just simmering.
- Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes until thickened.
- Transfer to clean containers. Put lids on and let cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate for up to a month or freeze for longer storage.
Makes approximately 2 1/4 cups of spread.