These are so good. You can taste the pumpkin and the pumpkin pie spice in these buttery caramels. They’re rich and chewy and everything a salted caramel should be. When I read the recipe, I wasn’t sure about the toasted pumpkin seeds, but they add a nice crunch, and complement the caramel perfectly.
They take a bit of time, so if you decide to make these seasonal treats, keep in mind that you may be stirring caramel on the stove for as long as 40 minutes, and then waiting a couple of hours for them to set. For me, that was easy, because one of our daughters was helping, and it was a fun mother-daughter activity.
The recipe is featured on Food52, but it was created by cheese1227. We followed the directions to the letter, and they turned out perfect.
Makes 64, 1-inch caramels
Salted pumpkin caramels
2/3 cup unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
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, such as Maldon Sea Salt
Dry toast the pepitas in a skillet until they start to pop. Line the bottom and the sides of an 8-in 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). 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.