Week 46: Pickled Pumpkin

I couldn’t let this festive season go by without pickling some pumpkin. If pumpkin can go in our coffee, alcohol, hummus, butter, yogurt and more, it can go in a pickle jar. Of all the weird-ish things I’ve pickled this year, pickled pumpkin was actually a surprise hit – great flavor and kept a decent crunch. Even my supportive but skeptical S.O., who hasn’t been the biggest fan of quite a few of these pickle experiments, agreed these were a success.

I most closely followed this recipe and the result seriously incorporates some great fall flavors with apple cider (vinegar), cinnamon and some other spices; and while I didn’t add ginger, could totes see that being a great addition. I cut the pumpkin pieces in pretty thin strips because I’m thinking about putting these on leftover turkey sandwiches next weekend post-Thanksgiving. We shall see…

Quick warning to heed – do NOT use a carving pumpkin for this recipe. They aren’t great for cooking or baking, therefore I don’t recommend them for pickling. Use the smaller pumpkins you can find in most grocery stores labelled either “pie” or “sugar” pumpkins. Less fibrous, better for human consumption.


Pickled Pumpkin Recipe

Makes 1 quart

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp all spice berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 small dried hot peppers
  • ~2 1/2 lb pumpkin (gets you ~1 lb inner flesh)

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Instructions:

  • Halve pumpkin and scoop out inner flesh and seeds. Save seeds for later if you’re really feeling in the fall spirit!

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  • Once cleaned, cut off outer skin and cut into desired pieces. As mentioned above, I did long, thin strips but you could go with cubes for more bite-size pieces.

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  • Add all ingredients, including pumpkin, to a pot so that pumpkin pieces are submerged.

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  • Bring to a simmer and heat all ingredients until sugar and salt have dissolved and pumpkin is fork tender (about 5 minutes from turning on heat).

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  • Add heated mixture to a jar, making sure all ingredients are added.

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  • Recommended use: Refrigerate jars; these are definitely better cold. As I mentioned, these were great when we tried them on their own – a good mix of both savory and sweet when most recipes skew more towards one or the other. Looking forward to trying these on a leftover turkey sandwich…gobble gobble!

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