Pickled sugar-pumpkin ribbons, laced with cinnamon and clove, was the #1 hit at my catering event on October 1st. Truly a perfect balance of sweet and tart in a beautiful shade of orange blush imbued with overtones of mulling spice. I served 40 people hors d’oeuvres at a cocktail party and my pickled sugar-pumpkin took the prize. Guests were eager to share and talk about this unique sugar-pumpkin dish. Make this simply divine dish for yourself and others. Plan ahead and serve it at Thanksgiving. Make extra as gift jars for friends and family at Christmas.
SUGAR PUMPKIN PICKLE RECIPE
4 lbs sugar pumpkin (not the large carving variety)
5 cups white vinegar, 5 cups white sugar, 15 whole clove (fresh), 4 whole cinnamon sticks (fresh)
Bring all ingredients to a boil and remove from heat. Steep for about 5 minutes. Prepare pumpkin by cutting in half, removing seeds and stringy insides and then peel it. I use a large chef knife to peel it, lying the pumpkin cut side down on the board and always cutting away from myself. I like cutting the pumpkin into long ribbons using a vegetable peeler, but by all means, cut them into cubes or whatever strikes your fancy. The pumpkin is the first jar on the left pictured bellow.
The other two jars pictured are in my homemade pickling brine. The jar in the center is filled with cauliflower, yellow pepper, celery and white onion. The jar on the right are for our hot dogs and include thin sliced Armenia cucumbers, white onion and dill. I slice them long and thin to fit along the bun. The following ratio of ingredients can be increased or decreased depending how much you are pickling. These are refrigerator pickles and do not need a water-bath canning method. If I wanted to store them for a long time at room temperature then I would follow the water-bath canning method. Since I make, and we eat, these pickles often, I simple make them in beautiful jars with tight fitting lids and store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Here’s the brine recipe: 1 cup white vinegar, 2 TBL white sugar, 1 TBL salt, 1 tsp celery seed, 2 tsp coriander, 2 tsp peppercorn, 2-3 bay leaves depending on size. For dill pickles add 1 TBL dill. Bring all ingredients to boil. Remove from heat and steep for 5 minutes. Pour hot mixture directly into a jar filled your favorite cucumber or vegetable mix. Pour to the top of the jar. If it does not cover all the vegetables or come to the top, top it off with water and give the jar a shake with the lid on.