Recipe: Pumpkin Preserves

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CAUTION: The instructions will work, hopefully, as I have adapted the technique for ingredients that are edible and available in the U.S. Unfortunately I have no way of testing the recipe before Thanksgiving here in Kea, as I can't get pickling lime. Cooks in Greece get a little slaked lime from the yards that sell construction materials(!)

Makes about 2 pint jars

    • 2 pounds peeled and seeded pumpkin or squash, cut into 1 inch cubes, OR balls, cut with a melon scoop (or the fusilli-like pieces made with the decorative cutter sold at street corners in Athens). Calcium bath:

    • 1 cup pickling lime
    • 4 quarts water

Syrup:
    • 5 cups sugar
    • 4 cups water
    • 2 four-inch cinnamon sticks
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Dilute the pickling lime in the water and add the diced pumpkin. Leave for 4 hours or overnight, and drain. Rinse thoroughly under cold water. Drain and lay on paper towels to dry the pieces.

Meanwhile make the syrup by boiling 5 cups sugar in 4 cups water with the cinnamon sticks for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pumpkin and lower the heat. Simmer tossing often for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook another 4-5 minutes, until the pumpkin is pleasantly crunchy and sweet. Transfer to clean sterilized jars and store in the refrigerator, or better, process in water bath, cooking the sealed jars for 10 minutes in a pot filled with water that comes about 2 inches above the top of the jars. Let cool and store in a cool, dry place.

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Aglaia Kremezi writes about food in Greek, European, and American magazines, publishes books about Mediterranean cooking in the U.S. and Greece, and teaches cooking classes. More

Aglaia Kremezi has changed her life and her profession many times over. She currently writes about food in Greek, European and American magazines, publishes books about Greek and Mediterranean cooking in the US and in Greece, and teaches cooking to small groups of travelers who visit Kea. Before that she was a journalist and editor, writing about everything, except politics. She has been the editor in chief and the creator of news, women's, and life-style magazines, her last disastrous venture being a "TV guide for thinking people," a contradiction in terms, at least in her country. She studied art, graphic design, and photography at the Polytechnic of Central London. For five years she taught photography to graphic designers while freelancing as a news and fashion photographer for Athenian magazines and newspapers. Editors liked her extended captions more than the pieces the journalists submitted for the events she took pictures for, so she was encouraged to do her own stories, gradually becoming a full time journalist and editor. You can visit her website at www.keartisanal.com.


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