Pumpkin Fudge Recipe
Chocolate fudge may be the standard, but this recipe for pumpkin fudge is hard to resist. Pumpkin puree brings the spectacular taste of fall to fudge and also adds a welcome weight and texture to the classic confection. Smooth, firm and creamy, pumpkin fudge is everything one looks for when making fudge, but with a depth of flavor that's often lost in a candy that's dependent on so much sugar. Kids and grown-ups alike will enjoy this old-fashioned recipe with a seasonal twist.
Learning how to make fudge is a rite of passage in many homes. Popular at bake sales, holiday gatherings or wrapped up as a gift, the confection of sugar, butter, milk and a host of additions has been around since the late 1800s and has been challenging amateur confectioners ever since. If you've never tried your hand at this old favorite, there's no better time than the present, and no better fudge than pumpkin.
The most common difficulty when making fudge is that it won’t set, leaving one with little more than a delicious frosting. There are “cheats” to help fudge stand up, usually involving the inclusion of marshmallow fluff to give it a structural head start. We prefer to keep it old school and skip such shortcuts, sticking to the unprocessed ingredients that have made fudge a favorite since its inception.
The secret to good fudge, like so many things, is patience. Cooked at too high a temperature or for too long, fudge will be hard and crumbly. Cooked too low or not long enough and the fudge will not set. Whisking the fudge before it is cool enough leads to a grainy texture. Using a candy thermometer, monitor closely every step of the way and success is within reach. Good fudge requires attention, but the end result is well worth the effort.
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 stick butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine sugar and cream in a heavy saucepan.
Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Add pumpkin, butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and vanilla extract and continue to stir until returned to boiling.
Stop stirring and continue to boil until a temperature of 240 degrees is reached (soft ball stage).
Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm and a "skin" is detected on the surface (about 110 degrees).
Whisk just until fudge becomes thick and the color dull.
Pour into a foil-lined and greased 8" baking pan.
Allow to rest 2 hours before cutting into 1 inch squares.