Candied Pumpkin Pie tastes like a bite of pie without all the calories! This is simply pumpkin, water, sugar, and spices. Soaking the pumpkin in pickling crisp helps the pumpkin keep it’s shape.
I know. Y’all are looking at this one like, “What the heck?” As strange as it looks and sounds, it’s really good! I was even surprised with how it tasted after it came out of the pot because it was an experiment, to be honest. I had something similar when I was in Bosnia and did some research on how to recreate that dish.
When you cook pumpkin it pretty much turns to mush. It just can’t help it. That’s just the nature of the squash. It can hold it’s shape for a little bit but once you stab it with your fork to eat it, it splits and breaks. For this recipe to work, I needed to crisp up the pumpkin before I cooked it.
I remember making pickles with Mom in the kitchen back in the day. We soaked the cucumbers in lime, but we had to be super careful with it. The cukes were soaked for hours and then we soaked the cukes in water for hours. It would make crisp and delicious pickles by soaking them in lime.
Except, I couldn’t find lime. Great. Now what am I going to do? I searched for lime for the grocery pick up, but they gave me something else. Something I’d never hear of before. Pickle crisp. I mean, it makes sense that I could use that, but the instructions tell you to add some to the jar before you pour the brine over the pickles. Except, I wasn’t making pickles like that.
I wasn’t making pickles at all! So, how in the world am I going to use this stuff to crisp the pumpkin before I cooked it? So, I did more research. And more reading. And more Googling of recipes using this stuff. And stumbled upon one or two recipes where people have soaked their ingredients in this pickle crisp before using it as intended.
Finally! The breakthrough I needed to be able to crisp up the pumpkin before simmering it in the simple syrup. With a quick soak, and no soaking in water needed, the pumpkin is perfectly tender and not mushy at all.
And let me tell you, it’s all worth it. Because candied pumpkin pie tastes just like a bite of pumpkin pie. The kind made with fresh pumpkin not canned. Except this bite of pie is without all the crust and calories that go in there.
I simmered the pumpkin for about 45 minutes. Then I tasted piece to see if it was mushy and see what it tasted like. The pumpkin tasted sweet with a fresh pumpkin flavor, but it needed something else. So, I stirred in some gingerbread spice and simmered it for a 30 or so minutes more.
That gingerbread spice adds just enough spice flavor to bring home that pumpkin pie flavor. Like, I just took a bite of a freshly baked pie with all the pumpkin and spice flavors. The texture is perfectly creamy, too! The slight crisping in the mixture and simmering makes for perfect little bites of yumminess.
I mean, just look at those pieces on the plate! No, I didn’t put any citric acid in there to keep the color of the pumpkin. That’s how the pieces came out of the simple syrup. Bright and truly pumpkin colored. I can’t imagine how light colored they would be if I had put some citric acid in there.
You can see how well they hold their shape. There wasn’t a single piece that was completely mushy. Which means you can pick these candied pumpkin pie pieces with your fingers. Or, if you’re serving them at a party, you can eat them with a toothpick. And, of course, you can eat them with a fork.
You can see that the spice mix doesn’t color the pumpkin much either. There’s a few flecks of spice on a few pieces here and there. But, not to worry, it doesn’t take long for the spices to infuse the pumpkin pieces. That I was truly surprised with. If you want more, then add the spices at the beginning to simmer with the pumpkin.
Now, this seems like it takes a while, but it really doesn’t. Most of these steps are hands off. The hardest time you’ll have is peeling the pumpkin. Man that took me forever to do. I really need a Y peeler. That would have helped immensely I’m sure. But, it’s still well worth it because candied pumpkin pie is totally delicious.
- 6 cups cubed fresh pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons pickle crisp
- 1 gallon water
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon gingerbread or pumpkin spice mix (I used Raw Spice Bar Gingerbread Spice blend)
- Place the 2 teaspoons of pickle crisp in a gallon container. Fill with water and stir until the pickle crisp dissolves.
- Add the pumpkin and soak for 1 hour.
Combine the 2 cups of sugar with the 4 cups of water in a large pot and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Stir in the pumpkin and simmer for 1 hour.
- Sprinkle the spice mixture over the pumpkin and stir until combined.
- Simmer an additional 30 minutes.
- Remove the pumpkin from the sugar mixture and cool completely before serving at room temperature.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 167Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 34mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 1gSugar 36gProtein 1g
Pumpkin season is here, and we are celebrating our love of pumpkin with #PumpkinWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. All week-long 26 bloggers will be sharing over 80 pumpkin-filled recipes for all your Autumn celebrations, including breakfasts, baked goods, savory pumpkin recipes, desserts, and drinks.
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Breakfast and Baked Goods
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- Easy Pumpkin Bread by Veggies First Then Dessert
- Easy Pumpkin Monkey Bread by Love & Confections
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- Pumpkin Croissants by The Redhead Baker
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- Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Crepes by Happily Curated Chaos
- Fall Harvest Chowder by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pumpkin Cheddar Grits with Bacon and Apples by Sweet Beginnings
- Pumpkin Chili by Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Pumpkin Ravioli by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Spiced Pumpkin Hummus by Our Good Life
- Spicy Thai Curry Pumpkin Noodle Soup by Making Miracles
- Candied Pumpkin Pie by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Easy Pumpkin Turnovers w/ a Chocolate Candy Drizzle by The Freshman Cook
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- Pumpkin Macarons by April Golightly
- Tikvenik – (Bulgarian Pumpkin Strudel) by Caroline’s Cooking