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Pumpkin Preserves

These things are delicious. They're made the same way Eggplant Preserves are made.

We used the lighter colored flesh of white pumpkins so that the end product is not too dark.

White.jpg

Peel and cut pumpkin into small pieces and soak overnight in a solution of water and pickling lime. Use 1 cup lime per liter of water. Make enough to cover the pumpkin pieces. Use a plate to keep them submerged.

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Recommended pickling lime, can be found at Kroger.

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Rinse the pumpkin pieces thoroughly two to three times. Squeeze every piece by hand to get rid of excess moisture.

In a pot, add 1 kilo water (1 liter), 1 kilo sugar, 1 T lemon juice and 5 Cloves for every kilo of pumpkin. Bring the syrup to a simmer then add the pumpkin. Simmer for 2.5 hours.

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Let cool and place in jars, distribute syrup evenly among them.

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Edited by ChefCrash (log)

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I was just about to make this myself, since I had rather a bumper crop of winter squash this year. Here the one they use is a big gray one with deep ribs and deep orange dense flesh; it's especially popular in Hatay, they sell it in big thin crescents. Crunchy on the outside, almost jellylike on the inside. I wasn't aware you could get a special pickling lime; here they buy quicklime, put it in water and let it "boil" and settle out, then skim off the water to soak whatever is being treated (eggplant, tomatoes, green walnuts, etc.) Yours look really beautiful!

Did you buy your pumpkins or grow them? I think the best would be from a really dense-fleshed one, like Kabocha or Hubbard (there's no real difference between a pumpkin and a squash; pumpkins are squash).


Edited by sazji (log)

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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Wow that looks really great! :) Yep I am also wondering about that. Will it make difference if you make these by salting rather than lime?

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Wow that looks really great! :) Yep I am also wondering about that. Will it make difference if you make these by salting rather than lime?

No, not at all. You cannot use salt to get the same result. Jenni is correct, "Lime" gives these preserves a unique crispy texture. For a more scientific explanation, I quote Dave Arnold from Cooking Issues in his long post about corn "nixtamalization":

The calcium in the water cross-links the pectin in the fruit, making it stay firm even when cooked. Bananas are especially good for this trick because they are often fragile and already have a cement taste as a base note (ever tasted an under-ripe banana?)...

I really would like to try that banana idea...


Edited by FoodMan (log)

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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As a tip.. Mexican grocery stores carry inexpensive Cal (Lime) in small packages for those wanting to start small. You can also buy pickled Pumpkin & other vegetables & fruits at Mex markets to have something to compare to (the homemade product should be superior though).

My favorite of the Mex sweet pickling tradition are the whole figs... the secret is to use fig leaf when making the syrup gives them a subtle, complex herbal flavor that is hard to pin down.

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As a tip.. Mexican grocery stores carry inexpensive Cal (Lime) in small packages for those wanting to start small. You can also buy pickled Pumpkin & other vegetables & fruits at Mex markets to have something to compare to (the homemade product should be superior though).

My favorite of the Mex sweet pickling tradition are the whole figs... the secret is to use fig leaf when making the syrup gives them a subtle, complex herbal flavor that is hard to pin down.

That is interesting - my neighbor and I exchange fruit and he has figs. So a similar syrup to the one described for pumpkin and then leave the leaf in the jar? All of these ideas sound like wonderful Christmas/Holiday gifts since the produce will be available in the fall.

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As a tip.. Mexican grocery stores carry inexpensive Cal (Lime) in small packages for those wanting to start small. You can also buy pickled Pumpkin & other vegetables & fruits at Mex markets to have something to compare to (the homemade product should be superior though).

My favorite of the Mex sweet pickling tradition are the whole figs... the secret is to use fig leaf when making the syrup gives them a subtle, complex herbal flavor that is hard to pin down.

That is interesting - my neighbor and I exchange fruit and he has figs. So a similar syrup to the one described for pumpkin and then leave the leaf in the jar? All of these ideas sound like wonderful Christmas/Holiday gifts since the produce will be available in the fall.

Yes heidi here is a picture of the Figs (you can google Higos en Dulce for more pics & recipes):

Higos en dulce - Candied figs

They are usually done in two different styles.. one where they are very syrupy as in the picture above, and another where the sugar is more crystallized (I like both actually.. the crystallized ones are usually sliced & served with homemade Panela cheese which is similar to the Greek & Sicilian basket cheeses or Requeson (Ricota) & slivers of good quality Cotija as part of a rustic Mexican cheese plate in the Highlands of Jalisco & nearby Guanajuato, Aguascalientes etc. )... my parents boil the fig leaves when making the simple syrup... they chop a few of the leaves very finely and also include whole leaves that will be removed.

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Here is a picture of whole pumpkins in syrup (Calabaza en Tacha)

Calabaza en tacha - Candied Pumpkin

Wow I love how it appears they candied the whole little pumpkin

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Here is a picture of the crystalized figs (Higos Cristalizados)

http://nuecesysemillas.com.mx/tienda/images/higo.jpg

If you want to go fancy.. people also stuff the Figs with nut meats & dried cheese and serve with Natas (Clotted Cream).

What would ne the name of the dried cheese? That sounds like a decadent treat

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Here is a picture of the crystalized figs (Higos Cristalizados)

http://nuecesysemillas.com.mx/tienda/images/higo.jpg

If you want to go fancy.. people also stuff the Figs with nut meats & dried cheese and serve with Natas (Clotted Cream).

What would ne the name of the dried cheese? That sounds like a decadent treat

The most common dried cheese in Mexico is Cotija... be forwarned that the packaged stuff sold by Cacique, El Mexicano etc., is cr@p... the good stuff is artisinally made in the town of Cotija, Michoacan... I don't know if its available in L.A. but the famous cheese shop in Healdsburg (right off the square) is carrying imported artisinal Cotija... but any good quality Pecorino-Romano would do... I would also like some Aged Gouda etc.,

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