Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some times I forget

Certain things are hard to make, even if they sound simple.

Like Turkey, for example. I've never made one, I probably never will, but I am sure glad other people have it figured out.

Talk about delicious. Red Chili and Honey glazed Thanksgiving Turkey... yes please. I never really understood why people say this but, seriously, gobble gobble. 

While my contribution consisted of...

You guessed it, pie.  The other thing I've recently learned is harder to make than expected is fudge....

And so feeling creative last night I made pumpkin fudge. Twice... and I will probably have to make it a third time to really get it right...

Maybe it isn't actually that hard, but my advice to you when it comes to fudge- don't well fudge it. I tried to resist saying that, really I tried, but it was just too obvious.

Bad puns aside, in all seriousness, use a thermometer- a candy thermometer that reads above 230.  Also, once you get your sugar up to a boil, turn it down to medium low. Since you don't want to over stir the sugar, you also don't want to burn it- which will happen if you don't turn down the stove. I promise. Then you will be left with a hot, sticky, burnt lump of pumpkin and sugar.  Not as much fun as fudge.

So happy confectioning everyone. There is a first time for everything!

Pumpkin Fudge 
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
dash nutmeg
dash cloves
dash ginger
dash salt
dash cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional, but I used pecans, as they seemed relevant to the whole pumpkin, thanksgiving theme.)

Bring sugar, pumpkin, milk, salt, spices, and cornstarch to a boil. Reduce to medium low heat and continue to cook until 236 degrees or the mixture "soft balls" in cold water. Meaning, as far as I understand, clumps into a soft ball rather than completely disintegrating in the water.  It's a fine line, if you don't cook the sugar enough you mixture won't harden and will remain sticky and granular. But, if you over cook, the sugar will burn and you won't want to eat it.

Remove from heat, add butter and nuts and stir until incorporated.  Pour into buttered or parchment lined pan and let cool.

Cut into pieces and enjoy.

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