Three words: Salted Pumpkin Caramels

My sister's super-fab pumpkin carvings, as mentioned last blog. Pictured in pumpkin (from left) is Diesel the dog; Dinah the cat; and Aya, the Queen German Shepherd.

One of my colleagues has shared recipe that could maybe convert me to pumpkin-love.

After reading my last post on all things pumpkin seed, she conveyed her desire to go home, chop pumpkins, and start roasting seeds. I told her I'd rather she make the pepita-crusted chicken with corn cakes recipe I shared in the blog.

She countered with the Pepita Recipe to End All Pepita Recipes: Salted Pumpkin Caramels.

I haven't met a salted caramel product I haven't loved. I'm thinking corn syrup, maple syrup, and cream can kill just about all vestiges of pumpkin-ness from any mixture and perhaps transmute it into something enjoyable thanks to its squashy flavor-alacrity.

So now Brilliant Co-worker is going to have to go home and make those AND the pepita-crusted chicken and bring them back to the office. She's just too sweet.

Anyway, here's the recipe (below), discovered on a food blog called Food52. The creator of the caramel recipe is called Cheese1227 and she's got HER own blog called Remaking Christine. Notes of how she came up with her caramel recipe are included with the recipe itself on Food52.

Salted Pumpkin Caramels

Makes 64, 1-inch caramels

Ingredients:

2/3 cup unsalted pepitos

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 cups white sugar

1/2 cups light corn syrup

1/3 cup good maple syrup

1/4 cup of water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in chunks

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel

Directions:

Dry toast the pepitos in a skillet until they start to pop.

Line the bottom and the sides of an 8-inch square glass pan with parchment. Butter the parchment on the sides of the pan. Evenly spread out the toasted pepitos on the bottom of the pan, on top of the parchment.

In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, pumpkin puree and spices. Get this mixture quite warm, but not boiling. Set aside.

In a second heavy bottomed pan, with sides at least 4 inches high, combine the sugar, both syrups and water. Stir until the sugars are melted, Then let it boil until it reaches 244 degrees (the soft ball point on a candy thermometer). Then very carefully add the cream and pumpkin mixture, and slowly bring this mixture to 240 degrees as registered on a on a candy thermometer. This can take awhile — like 30 minutes — but don't leave the kitchen, watch it carefully and stir it more frequently once it hits 230 degrees to keep it from burning at the bottom of the pan.

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