Pumpkins are truly a gift of Autumn in Canada. Try them in this delectable compote to savour now and for the rest of the year. The holiday season’s coming soon, so save some for house calling.
5 cups (1250 ml) cubed pumpkin, about a 3 lb (1.4 kg) pumpkin
1 large fresh pineapple
2 lemons, zest and juice
1 cup (250 ml) dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1 cup (250 ml) golden raisins
2 1/2 cups (625 ml) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
8 inches (20 cm) cinnamon stick
• Place 4 clean 500 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
• Halve pumpkin, seed and remove rind. Alternatively, use a melon baler to cut pumpkin from rind. Cut pulp into 3/4 inch (2 cm) cubes; measure 5 cups (1250 ml) into a large stainless steel saucepan.
• Peel, quarter and core pineapple. Cut pulp into 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces. Measure 5 cups (1250 ml); add to pumpkin.
• Tie broken cinnamon stick in a large square of cheesecloth, creating a spice bag; add to mixture.
• Finely grate enough lemon zest to measure 1 tbsp (15 ml) firmly packed and squeeze enough lemon juice to measure 1/2 cup (125 ml). Add juice and zest to pumpkin mixture. Stir in prepared apricots, raisins, sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, boil gently, uncovered, 2 minutes. Remove spice bag.
• Pack pumpkin mixture into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top rim. Add hot liquid to cover mixture to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more pumpkin mixture and hot liquid. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining pumpkin mixture and hot liquid.
• When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 25 minutes.*
• When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
• After cooling check jar seals. Sealed disc curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.
NOTES & TIPS
Note: This recipe was specially formulated to allow home canners to preserve a low acid food, pumpkin, in a commonly available boiling water canner. Please do not deviate from the recipe ingredients, quantities, jar size and processing method and time. Any change could affect the safety of the end product.