Pumpkin Cascabel Marmalade
These chiles will add a deep, nutty flavor to dishes and are great to use in salsas and sauces. It is a medium-hot chile that is good in soups, stews, sauces and sausage.
Pumpkin Cascabel Marmalade
2 and 1/4 lbs pumpkin (1000 g), diced to 1/8 to 1/4-inch cubes (from a scant 3 lb pumpkin, peeled, seeded and stringy insides removed)
2 organic lemons (I used 1 whole lemon + 1/4 cup lemon juice and frozen zest from 2 lemons)
2 organic oranges
3/4 cup orange juice
2 cups water
2 and 1/2 cups sugar (turbinado)
4 dried cascabel chiles, with seeds, crushed (or other mild, smoky dried pepper)
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
Chop the pumpkin in half and scrape out seeds (save seeds for roasting) and cut pumpkin into sections. Trim the stringy insides, with a scoop, spoon, or a sharp knife, then peel each section with a vegetable peeler. Dice to 1/8 to 1/4-inch squares, being careful to keep the pieces as similar in size as possible (and don’t go larger than 1/4-inch). Set aside.
Slice lemons and oranges. Slice each citrus fruit in half, along the middle between the stem & blossom end of the fruit. Give each half a gentle squeeze over a large, non-reactive stockpot, to minimize juice loss while slicing. Remove seeds and reserve in a small bowl. Slice off 1/4-inch of the stem end and discard. With the cut end flat on the cutting board, use a sharp, serrated knife to make thin, half-moon slices of fruit + peel. Then slice each half-moon into 4 – 8 pieces (depending on how big you like the pieces of peel in your marmalade). Scrape chopped citrus sections into the stockpot, being careful to add all the juice to the pot.
Tie the seeds into a small square of cheesecloth (or use a stainless steel tea ball) with kitchen twine.
If canning, prepare canner, jars and lids (see Options).
Add lemons, oranges, orange juice, water, and seed pouch to stockpot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until peels have softened.
Add sugar. Allow to dissolve for approximately 5 minutes over low heat. Add pumpkin. Bring to a boil over high heat, and boil rapidly, stirring frequently, until mixture starts to reduce, about 15 – 20 minutes.
Over a small bowl, crush Cascabel chiles in your fist until no pieces remain larger than 1/4-inch. Add chiles and salt to marmalade mixture. Continue to cook, stirring frequently (lower the heat if marmalade begins to stick or scorch), until the marmalade reaches the gel point: 220 degrees F (8 degrees F higher than the temperature of boiling water on your thermometer), or a dollop of marmalade placed frozen on a chilled plate for 1 minute wrinkles when pushed with a finger. The marmalade will thicken visibly and a spoon dragged across the bottom of the pan will leave an empty trail for 1 to 2 seconds. In total, my marmalade cooked for about 45 minutes.
Fill hot, sterilized jars with hot marmalade to 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes OR simply cap and refrigerate.
Yields about 4 and 1/2 cups.
As noted above, the original recipe calls for pumpkin, 2 lemons, 1 orange, 3 cups water and 4 cups of sugar, and of course, no chile pepper or salt.
The marmalade tasted of orange more than anything else; it is quite good, but when I make it again I will use the two lemons and one orange stated in the orginal recipe. The pumpkin flavor is quite subtle (which may be because my pumpkin was so old) but may be brought out more if there is less orange in the mix.
See above convoluted discussion about the safety (or lack thereof) of canning pumpkin. I believe this recipe is safe to can – but the USDA does not. They probably know more than me. Can at your own risk. If you will be canning, I strongly encourage you to weigh all of your ingredients; when in doubt, extra acidity (another lemon, or orange, or juice) is never a bad thing.
Canned, in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year. Refrigerated, in sterilized jars, for 2 – 3 months. Frozen for up to 1 year.