When I first saw Pumpkin Fudge, I have to admit – I was skeptical. My husband and I bought a square when we were visiting the Jersey shore last month – fudge is a traditional Jersey shore treat, and I figured what better new flavor to try in October than Pumpkin! It felt a little like the first time I tried pumpkin ice cream, or pumpkin coffee, or frankly even pumpkin beer (more on that tomorrow!) Some of these things I like a lot, and some are just not worth it. Turns out Pumpkin Fudge is pretty darn delicious, and so when we decided to make a whole week of pumpkin posts here on Domestic Pursuits, I went searching for a recipe.
This recipe I found via Brown Eyed Baker is remarkably similar to the recipe one finds on the back of a very popular marshmallow creme jar here in New England – being that it ‘never fails,’ I figured this was a good place to start – as I have never made fudge before in my life. I have heard harrowing stories of people ending up with pots full of solidified gooey messy sugar, or fudges that sit for days and still don’t set up, and so fudge was always one of those treats I left for the professionals. But, now that I’m 31 and have taught myself to cook a whole bunch of things that require precision temperature control (ie, pasteurizing my homemade ice creams) I figured I could handle fudge now.
This actually was quite easy – although I think a candy thermometer definitely helped this recipe come out right. You can always use the method where you drop a small amount of whatever candy you’re cooking into cold water and figure out if it is a hard ball, or a soft ball, but I personally find that a bit cumbersome. It also requires standing at your stove for about a half an hour – but that literally is all that’s required for the prep. The only substitution I made really was to use slightly less brown sugar as all I had in my pantry was the dark brown variety, and I also used cinnamon and nutmeg rather than pumpkin pie spice, because I just have a thing against buying premade spice blends. I also don’t really like nuts in fudge, so left those out.
Pumpkin Fudge – adapted via Brown Eyed Baker from Christmas Candy Recipes
- 2 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- ¾ cup butter
- 2/3 cup (or one 5-ounce can) evaporated milk
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1 (7.5 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
First, prepare a 9×13 baking dish by lining it with foil and spraying with cooking spray. Combine sugars, butter, evaporated milk, pumpkin and spices in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, stirring continuously, bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Continue to boil for 12-14 minutes stirring continuously until the mixture reaches the ‘soft ball’ stage which is 234-240 degrees farenheit on a candy thermometer. (Alternatively, can you drop a small quantity into a glass of cold water and see what kind of ball it forms. I recommend the thermometer method.) Working quickly, stir in the chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, and vanilla. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours. Refrigerate overnight before slicing for best results. Enjoy!