Pumpkin Chip Preserves

READY IN: 2hrs




  • DAY BEFORE CANNING: Cut the pumpkin into large chunks, discarding the stems, seeds, and stringy innards attached to them. Pare the skin from the chunks. Slice each chunk into pieces 1/2" to 3/4" square, as evenly as you can. Stir to combine the pumpkin pieces in a large glass or ceramic bowl with the sugar, lemon juice and zest, and 1/2 cup water. Cover and let the mixture sit overnight, or a few hours longer, at room temperature. It will give off a good bit of liquid.
  • DAY OF CANNING: Prepare 5 or 6 half-pint canning jars by washing thoroughly. Place the jars on a rack in a boiling water canner, but DO NOT add water yet!
  • Spoon the pumpkin mixture into a large heavy saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook, covered, until the pumpkin pieces are quite tender, but still hold their shape and have become somewhat translucent in a glaze of thick syrup, about 30 minutes.
  • As soon as you have reduced the heat for the pumpkin mixture, fill the canner with water; water should be at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. You may need to add 1 cup of white vinegar if you have hard water in your area. Boil the jars for 10 minutes to sterilize. It will take about 20--30 minutes for the water to come to a boil. Start timing from the time it reaches a good steady boil.
  • While pumpkin is cooking, blanch the lemon slices in a small saucepan of boiling water, just enough to soften them, and drain. Stir the lemon slices into the chips just before removing the preserves from the heat.
  • Once the jars have sterilized and the pumpkin is ready, remove jars from canner to a surface covered in heavy towels or layers of newspaper. (NEVER place hot jars on a bare countertop, as the difference in temperature could cause jars to shatter!) Spoon the chips into the hot jars, leaving at least 1/4-inch head space.
  • Process the jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Refrigerate jars after opening.