Instead of actually canning my pumpkin pickles, I vacuum sealed the jars and popped them in the frig. I used to put up dill pickles with my Aunt Irene and never was good at getting them to actually seal so this seemed like a perfect solution. Also just for fun I can check them during the three months and reseal if they aren't ready. While doing some research for this recipe, I read that pumpkin has the perfect neutral ph to grow botulism, so the addition of the lemon peel is mandatory to make it more acidic. This recipe makes 4 - 6 jars, which I halved to fit in the two containers. I also skipped most of the raisins (3 1/2 cups just seemed way too much).
The recipe comes from this Reader's Digest book about pumpkins and squashes, which I checked out of the library and then found a copy at a library sale.
Andrew and I tasted the pickles after a month. I thought they were ok, but not done; Andrew gagged, which I did not take as a good sign. He doesn't like sweet pickles in general and apparently these in particular. I'll wait until the three months is up to pass judgement.
Pumpkin and Ginger Pickle
Ginger lends piquancy to this beautifully colored deep orange pickle. Its blend of flavors makes this a good accompaniment to turkey, ham or chicken.
1 ounce fresh ginger
zest of 2 medium lemons, removed with a vegetable peeler
2 pounds pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayeene pepper
3 1/2 cups golden raisins
32 ounces dark brown sugar
2 cups cider vinegar
Crush the ginger with a hammer and place it with the lemon in a cheesecloth bag. Tie the bag securely.
Put all the ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed nonaluminum saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and the pumpkin is tender.
Remove the bag of flavorings and spoon the pickle in the sterilized warm jars while hot. Seat when hot; label when cold.
Keep for 3 months in the refrigerator before using.