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Celebrate National Cookbook Month with Chef Phillip Jones

Chef Phillip Jones

As we continue celebrating National Cookbook Month, we share another appetizing recipe provided by CFCC’s Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts chefs.

Today’s recipe treat is from Phillip Jones, CFCC Baking & Pastry Arts Instructor. Chef Jones has been with CFCC since 2021 and is a graduate of both CFCC Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts programs.

Chef Jones draws inspiration from Leah (Dooky) Chase, Anthony Bourdain, and Ina Garden. He loves their cooking styles and their passion for the culinary world. Not only cooking, baking, and preparing but indulging in new flavors, textures, and cultures. His go-to cookbooks are “Appetites: A Cookbook” by Anthony Bourdain, “The Dooky Chase Cookbook” by Leah Chase, and “Barefoot in Paris” by Ina Garden. Chef Jones has go-to baking books: “The Baking Bible” by Rose Levy Berenbaum and “The Violet Bakery Cookbook” by Claire Ptak.

If you love salted caramel, you will love these salty-sweet treats worth the wait and patience. Chef Jones shared a batch with us, and we can attest they are delicious!

Thanks, Chef Jones, for sharing a sample of your scrumptious dessert.

Chef Phillip Jones

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 pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in chunks
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel (sea salt)
  1. Dry toast the pepitas in a skillet until they start to pop.
  2. 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 pepitas on the bottom of the pan, on top of the parchment.
  3. In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, pumpkin puree and spices. Get this mixture quite warm, but not boiling. Set aside.
  4. In a second heavy bottomed pan, with sides at least 4 inches high, combine the sugar, 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). Then very carefully add the cream and pumpkin mixture, and slowly bring this mixture to 240 degrees as registered on a candy thermometer. This can take a while — like 30 minutes — but don’t leave the kitchen, watch it carefully and stir it more frequently once it hits 230 degrees to keep it from burning at the bottom of the pan.
  5. As soon as it reaches 240, pull it off the heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice. Stir vigorously so that the butter is fully incorporated.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Let cool for 30 minutes, and sprinkle the salt over the top. Let the caramels fully set (at least 2 hours) before using a hot knife to cut them into 1-inch squares and wrapping them individually in waxed paper.
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