Monday, November 14, 2011

Pumpkin Fudge

Mmmmm, fudge. I'm trying to empty all the pumpkin out of the freezer, which means I have a LOT more pumpkin recipes to go!

This one's a favorite of mine, pumpkin fudge. It's really good. The only trouble is, the recipe makes too darn much fudge. Guess I'll just have to make a few friends and give some away!

Now, making fudge isn't like baking cookies. I learned that the hard way, years ago. First off, sugar burns very very quickly. You can't take your eye off of it for a minute. (Yep, learned that the hard way in middle school.)

Second learning experience here, what's this "soft ball" junk in the recipe? The first time I made fudge, I didn't have a candy thermometer, but I figured no big, it will all come together into a big soft ball, that's when it's done. So after I stirred for over twice as long as the recipe said to and it was still liquid, I got concerned and tossed it in the pan anyway. Once it cooled, it was hard as a rock. A very tasty rock, but a rock nonetheless.

Take two, I cooked it for exactly the amount of time it told me to, assuming it was all about time when making fudge. (Hint: it's not about time, it's about temperature. It has to get to exactly the right temperature so there's a certain amount of water in it.) Anyway, this time it wasn't long enough, so the fudge would barely stay together. Still super tasty, but a little difficult to eat. I finally gave in and googled it.

See, soft ball refers to the "ball test." It probably has a more legit name, but ball test is easy. Anyway, to test candy, you get a cup of cold water out and blop a little of your liquid candy in. The way it cools will tell you how cooked it is, and how it will end up once the whole thing cools. First, it will go to thread stage, when your candy blob won't really want to form into a ball, it's still too squishy. When you cook it some more, it will go into soft ball stage, where it will form into a ball, but it'll flatten out once you take it out of the water. Next is firm ball, then hard ball stages, fairly self-explanatory. Last is soft crack and hard crack. At this point, the candy won't even form into a ball, it's too hard. The blob will either bend and snap (tehe!) for soft crack, or just snap for hard crack.

So once you know that, fudge is pretty darn easy. This recipe is no exception, it's pretty basic, and tastes like Christmas. I don't care if it's before thanksgiving, it's ok to eat Christmas fudge any time of year. Like...RIGHT NOW!

Pumpkin Fudge
From Christmas Candy Recipes

2 cups sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup or 5 oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 cup pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or a combination of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg if you don't have any pumpkin pie spice. Like me.)
1 bag white chocolate chips
1 7 oz. jar marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil.
Combine sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk, pumpkin, butter and spice in medium, heavy duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 234° to 240ยบ F (soft-ball stage).
Quickly stir in morsels, marshmallow creme, nuts and vanilla. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until morsels are melted. Immediately pour into prepared pan. Let stand on wire rack for 2 hours or until completely cooled. Refrigerate tightly covered. To cut, lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Makes about 3 pounds.

1 comment:

  1. Jackie,
    Do you have any idea how much I would LOVE to eat this amazing sounding fudge but of course it would make me sick (stupid milk...).

    I love reading your blogs and I miss your super yummy,"here's a few (1 1/2 dozen)" cookies. :)