Do we have any recipe for pumpkin fudge – that’s the question – much less several to choose from so that we can select the one that is the least runny? We do not. Even the one fudge book in our library (Oh, Fudge! (Canada, UK)) doesn’t have a recipe for pumpkin fudge. In fact, the author, Lee Edwards Benning, states point-blank that most fruits and fudge do not mix, as the enzymes in the fruit “melt” the fudge.
But perhaps we can give you a few tips for obtaining a pumpkin fudge that sets up. First, rely less on the temperature indication of the recipe you’re using and more on the soft-ball test (drizzle a little of the boiling fudge mixture into ice-cold water. If it dissipates, it’s not ready; if after two seconds, you can form it into a soft ball that retains its shape out of the water, it is). The point at which a particular batch of fudge sets up is influenced by the temperature and humidity of your kitchen, as well as the ingredients you use, and may be different from one day to the next. Edwards Benning says fudge rarely comes to the soft-ball stage at as low a temperature as most recipes state. And, she says, it is better to overcook fudge than to undercook it.
Also, fudge won’t set up as well if you use margarine instead of butter (if the recipe calls for either). The substitution of milk or light cream if the recipe calls for heavy cream will also produce a runnier result.
Now, having armed you with all those caveats, here is our one recipe for pumpkin fudge. May your knife blade break when you try to cut it.
3 cups white sugar 1 cup milk 3 tablespoons light corn syrup 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Combine sugar, milk, corn syrup, pumpkin, and salt in large 3 quart saucepan; mix thoroughly. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil mixture without stirring until it reaches 232°F (110°C) or until a small amount forms a soft ball in cold water.
Remove from heat and stir in the spice, vanilla, butter, and nuts. Let cool until lukewarm (about 110°F (45°C)). Beat the mixture until it becomes very thick and loses some of its gloss. Quickly pour it into a buttered 8″ square pan. When firm, cut into squares.