This pumpkin and ginger jam recipe produces a deliciously warming preserve that’s a great alternative to your morning marmalade.
Pumpkin and ginger jam
Sweet orange pumpkin flesh is delicious in so many ways but it often needs something to … well, ginger it up! Ginger is the perfect match, and this pumpkin and ginger jam recipe is just the thing to make the most of your pumpkins.
- For a simpler, but delicious recipe try this pumpkin jam
- Pressure cooker pumpkin soup is great for using up the rest of the pumpkin.
This jam is a delicious way to use up leftovers from Halloween, though I do find that the big orange pumpkins can be quite watery late in the season. Small pumpkins, like the popular Uchiki Kuri tend to have more flavour, and other winter squash varieties with green or grey skins can be very good too.
This delicious spiced preserve cooks more like a chutney than a conventional jam, so you don’t need to worry about setting point. This makes it a marvellously fuss-free recipe, and it can be used as a substitute for your morning marmalade or as a sweet condiment with sharp cheeses.
Why make pumpkin and ginger jam
- Jam with extra veg!
- Warming and delicious
- An unusual alternative to marmalade
Pumpkin jam ingredients
- Pumpkin – Smaller culinary pumpkins wil have more flavour than the large ones grown for Halloween displays. You want orange flesh, but the skin doesn’t matter, so don’t rule out green varieties like Honey Bear or grey ones like Crown Prince.
- Sugar – Ordinary white granulated sugar, though you could go half and half with up to 50 % golden or light brown for a richer flavour. Don’t overdo it, though.
- Orange zest – pairs so well with both pumpkin and ginger
- Lemon – Although this is not a very ‘jammy’ jam, you still need some pectin, and lemon is great for this.
- Cardamom pods – For depth of flavour. Leave the cardamom out if you don’t like it, but it does work very well.
- Stem ginger – So much better than dried or fresh ginger in jam, and it helps the jammy consistency too. Use 2 or 3 of the globes from the jar, and add a little of the syrup too.
How to make pumpkin and ginger jam – step by step
Before you start, read my step-by-step instructions, with photos, hints and tips so you can make this pumpkin and ginger jam recipe perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the recipe card with quantities and more tips at the bottom of the page.
Step One – Cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard them or save to use in salads. Cut into wedges, peel the skin and cut the flesh into 2.5 cm / 1” chunks. You do not need to be too precise, but keep the pieces close in size for even cooking.
Transfer to a pan, cover in water and simmer for around 25 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender.
Step Two – Drain the pumpkin in a sieve and allow to steam dry.
Step Three – Return the pumpkin to the pan and mash well. You want to retain some texture, so a rough puree is fine.
Step Four – Grate the orange zest into the pan and add the rest of the ingredients.
At this point, put your jars in the oven to sterilize/warm, along with a jam funnel and pyrex jug.
Step Five – Start cooking the jam mixture over a low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and heat the mix evenly.
Step Six – Continue to cook, stirring all the time, until the jam reduces and you can draw a line across the bottom of the pan with a spoon without the mixture filling it back in. This will take about half an hour.
Remove the cardamom pods if you prefer, but take care and use a long-handled spoon to do this. The hot mixture may splutter and catch your hands if you are not careful.
Step Seven – Transfer your pumpkin and ginger jam to clean, warm jars. I like to use a jam funnel and a pyrex jug to fill the jars in order to avoid mess and burns. Seal and store in cool dark place.
Perfect on toast for breakfast instead of marmalade or on crumpets for tea.
- Vary the spicing but be cautious. Flavours will develop with keeping and while you can always add a little, you can’t take it out. Try a little cinammon or nutmeg.
Store your pumpkin and ginger jam in a cool dark cupboard where it will last for about a year. Once open, store the jam in the fridge and use within a few weeks.
If you find that a jar has failed to seal correctly, keep it in the fridge and treat as if opened.
Hints and tips
- Use a really sharp vegetable peeler. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. You can reserve the seeds to roast and add to salads if you like.
- Let the pumpkin steam dry and don’t rush. You don’t want a watery jam.
- Keep clearing the sides and bottom of pan when cooking, so that the mixture does not catch and burn.
- Go easy on the spices. The flavours will continue to infuse, so don’t overdo it.
- Jam making depends on the ratios. The sugar should be three quarters of the weight of the prepared pumpkin. Allow the zest of one orange and juice of one lemon per 500 g prepared pumpkin.
Choose anything that has a good flavour. Smaller pumpkins are usually sweeter than the very large ones grown for Halloween carving. Other autumn/winter squash are good too.
You can, but this is very soft and the result may be closer to a fruit butter.
Treat it as you would any sweet jam, and enjoy it with bread and butter, or do as the French do and add serve it with a cheese board.
More pumpkin recipes
- Fried pumpkin gnocchi with sage – an Italian masterpiece
- Pumpkin jam – a simple jam with a twist of cinnamon
- Pressure cooker pumpkin soup with apple – a spectacular seasonal soup
- Spiced pumpkin, carrot and sweet potato soup – rich and warming
Pumpkin and Ginger Jam
- 500 g (4.3 cups) pumpkin (peeled and deseeded)
- 1 orange (zest only)
- 1 lemon (juice)
- 2–3 tbsp stem ginger (with a little of the syrup too)
- 375 g (1.9 cups) granulated white sugar (or half white and half light brown sugar)
- 3 pods cardamom
- Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and discard. Cut into wedges, peel the skin and cut the flesh into 2.5 cm / 1” chunks,500 g pumpkin
- Transfer to a pan, cover in water and gently simmer for about 25 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft.
- Drain and allow the pumpkin to steam dry.
- Return the pumpkin to the pan and mash.
- Grate in the orange zest, and add the lemon juice, chopped ginger and syrup, cardamom and sugar. Put your jars, jam funnel and a pyrex dish in the oven to sterilize/warm.1 orange, 1 lemon, 375 g granulated white sugar, 3 pods cardamom, 2–3 tbsp stem ginger
- Start cooking the jam over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir to keep the heat even through the mixture.
- Keep cooking, stirring all the time until you can draw a line across the bottom of the pan with a spoon without the mixture filling it back in. This will take about 30 minutes.
- Remove the cardamom pods and put the jam in a warmed pyrex jug. Use this to pour the jam into jars and seal.
StorageStore your pumpkin and ginger jam in sealed jars in a cool dark cupboard where it will last for about a year. Once open, keep the jam in the fridge and use within a few weeks. If you find that a jar has failed to seal correctly, keep it in the fridge and treat as if opened.
Hints and tips
- Use a really sharp vegetable peeler, as pumpkin skin is tough. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. You can reserve them to clean up and toast as a garnish for soups and salads.
- Let the pumpkin steam dry and don’t rush to move on. You don’t want excess water in the pumpkin jam.
- Keep stirring/scraping sides bottom of pan when cooking, so that the mixture does not catch.
- Go easy on the spices. The cooking process and then maturing in the jar does intensify the flavour.
- Jam making is all about the ratios. The sugar should be three quarters of the weight of the prepared pumpkin. Allow the zest of one orange and juice of one lemon per 500 g pumpkin.