Add to My MSN

Canned Pumpkin Pickles - a Sweet Fall Treat

10/16/2013 9:06:00 AM

Tags: Canning, Pumpkin, Grandma, Cooking, Garden, Recipes, Pickles, Erin Sheehan

Erin SheehanOur pie pumpkin harvest last year numbered 21 absolute beauties in the 7-8 pound range. We traded some with friends and family, and made pumpkin pie, soup, and bread. We even tried a to-die-for pumpkin trifle. But by late-October we we were still looking at over 100 pounds of pumpkin to use up or process. I really wanted to can it, but canning pumpkin can be problematic due to its density and low acid levels. When I landed upon a recipe for canned pumpkin pickles, I knew I had to try it. (Pumpkin pickles are safe due to their acidic brine and cubed pieces.)

Although my mom says she doesn’t remember ever eating them, her mom had a pumpkin pickle recipe tucked into her 1931 Successful Farming Cookbook. Grandma’s recipe called for green pumpkin, reflective of the mentality of the era. In 1931 you found a use for everything on the farm, and I mean everything, including those pumpkins that didn’t quite make it before the frost.

Old Pickled Pumpkin Recipe

However, not only did I want my pumpkin pickles to look beautiful and orange in the jar, I had already composted our unripe pumpkins (silly me!), so I used fully ripe pumpkins for my recipe. The recipe below is cut in half from what I made. I was very motivated to use up pumpkin, after all! I also used more cider vinegar than you will find below and less white vinegar, but wish I had done it differently, hence the changes.

Pumpkin pickles use the same spices as a pumpkin pie, so the flavor is not what you might expect from a more traditional pickle. I’ve seen it characterized as tasting like a “cold pumpkin pie” and a “sweet pumpkin curry”. I’m not sure I’d completely agree with either, but they are delicious and unusual and certainly worth making. They will look beautiful on your holiday table and spruce up your canning cellar as well!

Canned Pickled Pumpkin

If you decide to try your hand at pickling pumpkins, be sure to use small pumpkins grown for eating, no jack-o-lantern leftovers or pumpkin growing contest winners!

Ready to get started? Here’s what you’ll need:

Pumpkin Pickles
8 cups pie pumpkin (about one pumpkin)
1½ cups apple cider vinegar
1½ cups white vinegar
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
3 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
1 tbsp whole cloves
2 tbsp whole allspice

Prepare your water bath canner. Make sure your jars and lids are clean and put your lids in a small bowl of warm (not boiling) water. Your jars should be in simmering water to keep them hot.

Clean, seed, and peel your pumpkin. Cut it into chunks between ½” and 1” in size, it’s best if they are uniform.

Heat sugar, vinegar, and water in a large pot over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Stir frequently. Place the spices in a spice bag or piece of cheesecloth and tie shut. Place in the liquid.

Add the pumpkin to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove the spice bag and ladle the pumpkin into your hot canning jars. Cover with the brine leaving 1/2-inch of headspace. Carefully wipe your jar rims clean.

Place lids and rings on jars and place jars in your boiling water bath. Boil in the canner for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, remove cover and let canner sit for 5 minutes. Remove jars and place on a towel. Let sit for about 24 hours. These will taste best if you let them cure 1-2 weeks. Enjoy!



Related Content

The Grandmother of Cooking Contests--The Pillsbury Bake-off

The Pillsbury Bake-off has been an American institution since 1949. Although network food challenges...

Use Your Pumpkin Harvest for a Pumpkin Face Mask

There's nothing wrong with a little pampering now and again, so why not use your own garden harvest ...

Pumpkins Rock!

The pre-Halloween ritual of finding the perfect pumpkins for carving, pies, and seed roasting is as ...

Curious Comfort

A paragraph or two on what different people consider comfort foods.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

HomespunLifeInTheCity
10/30/2013 12:09:32 PM
Hi Susan - it is great, right? My mom remembers her mom making watermelon rind pickles but I haven't located the recipe she used yet. I hope your pumpkin pickles turn out great!

Susan
10/29/2013 9:22:58 AM
Very interesting - don't you love the way they used to not waste anything? Our mom always made watermelon pickles from the rind, a real treat. Also making jelly or syrup from the peelings and pits of peaches or apples, for instance, after making applesauce or canning the peaches or pears. Waste not, want not. Thanks for this recipe.



Subscribe today
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
 

Want to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $19.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $19.95 for a one year subscription!