Pumpkin fudge is a sweet dense candy which is flavored with fresh or canned pumpkin. The fudge is created by heating certain ingredients to a specific temperature and then allowing the mixture to cool and harden. The result is a rich, creamy treat with a strongly pumpkin taste.
Canned puree pumpkin is usually used to make pumpkin fudge. White and light brown sugar or light corn syrup, unsalted butter, evaporated milk, and pumpkin pie spice are also normally included. Marshmallow creme is frequently added to help ensure a creaminess to the finished fudge. White chocolate chips and chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts are also common additions. Some versions may add additional spices, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, or cloves.
If toasted nuts are used, they are often spread onto a cookie sheet and baked in the oven for several minutes in order to toast. The nuts are usually chopped after being toasted. Then, they can be stirred in with the final ingredients or reserved to top the completed fudge.
To make pumpkin fudge, the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice, as well as the sugars, milk, and butter are melted in a saucepan. The mixture is brought to a boil and must be stirred constantly to prevent burning or sticking. Once the mixture reaches the correct temperature it can be removed from the heat. The rest of the ingredients are stirred into the mixture and then the finished fudge is immediately poured into a square pan and allowed to cool.
A candy thermometer is recommended when making pumpkin fudge. The fudge mixture must be heated to a specific temperature, usually 232–240°F; (111–115.5°C;), in order to achieve the appropriate consistency when the fudge cools. If a candy thermometer is unavailable, the approximate temperature can be determined by placing a small amount of fudge into cold water. When the fudge forms into a sphere in the water, it has reached the correct temperature.
Lining the pan that will hold the finished fudge with wax paper or foil is also recommended. The lining should be larger than the pan, so that it can be easily pulled out once the fudge has set. This allows the fudge to be cut into small squares without the pan's sides getting in the way. Pumpkin fudge usually takes about two hours to cool and set and should not be cut until it has set completely. Any fudge not eaten soon after cutting should be covered and stored in a refrigerator.