Sick of pumpkin yet? Well, it’s only October 15, so you better not be. I’m not quite sure where I got the idea, but all the sudden I decided I wanted to make pumpkin fudge. Then I did some reading and saw that fudge is kind of difficult to make. But being the daring baker I am, I was determined to give it a go.
I realized that if I wanted any chance of the fudge coming out edible, I would need a candy thermometer (a thermometer that goes up to at least 240 degrees F). I found one easily in a hardware store for $6.50; score! Then I searched for a recipe that sounded semi-reasonable and that didn’t involve Fluff. For some reason, the idea of using Fluff in baking is really unappealing to me, though I love a good peanut butter and Fluff sandwich as much as the next person (not that I’ve had one since age 10). But in my fudge? No thanks.
The ingredients for my pumpkin fudge were pretty simple:
- 3 C white sugar
- 1 C milk
- 3 T light corn syrup
- 1/2 C pumpkin puree
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 t pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/2 t vanilla
- 1/2 C butter (1 stick)
I only had a mild panic attack when I couldn’t find pumpkin puree in the first 3 grocery stores I went to. Both Trader Joe’s I went to told me it “isn’t quite pumpkin season yet.” Umm liars! I have been buying pumpkin puree there for two months now. I almost hugged the stock person at Stop & Shop who pointed me to the shelf and said they had restocked it just minutes ago. Fudge was saved and I bought 4 extra cans of pumpkin…just in case.
Anyway, with a bit of trepidation, I started on the fudge. First, I combined the sugar, milk, corn syrup, pumpkin, and salt in a saucepan and brought it to a boil on high heat, while stirring constantly. Looks like witches brew! Whatever that is.
Then I brought the heat to medium and let it boil without stirring, while I patiently waited for the mixture to reach 232 degrees F. This is where things got tricky. I swear I was being really patient, but the mixture just wasn’t budging from 225 degrees and from everything I’ve read, it HAS to be at least 232 degrees before it reaches “soft ball stage.” This means if I took a bit of the liquid and dropped it in cold water, it would form a ball that would flatten if I picked it up.
And that wasn’t really happening, so I may have turned the heat up just a bit. The mixture started to smell like it might be burning a bit (oops), but my fudge was finally at its ideal temperature, so I was satisfied. Woot:
Then I cut it up and went in for the taste test. Verdict? Not too bad for my first time! It actually tasted quite good and seemed to have a fudge like consistency to it. I wish it wasn’t quite so crumbly and felt it could have been a bit softer. However, upon doing a quick Google search, I discovered many people actually looking for recipes for good crumbly fudge. And, allegedly, if I wanted it softer, I should have used the Fluff after all. Who knew.
I brought some to lunch with Sara and Dustin at Chilli Duck and we enjoyed it along with Sara’s pumpkin pie cheesecake (yes, we brought various pumpkin desserts into the restaurant with us!). I will definitely be trying this again and am also pretty excited to try a chocolate peanut butter edition. Fudge could very well be my new obsession, long after pumpkin season is over. Which hopefully won’t come too quickly.