We tried to grow pumpkins this year and ended up with just one lonely survivor on the vine. It started as a joke when our neighbor-slash-housemate handed us some seeds for “Red Warty Things”. Yes, that is the pumpkin variety. We didn’t expect much more than a laugh, come fall.
But oh were we wrong. That little lone punkin delighted us with one of my fave treats. Pumpkin butter: rich and thick and perfect on a soft piece of whole grain bread.
So after yesterday’s oopsies (read about it here), I made a trip to the store and got all the ingredients to finish what I started. I decided to cancel out the recipe’s call for too-spendy maple syrup, swapping in some agave syrup and instead splurging on a gallon of apple cider.
In the end, I was glad I had already pureed the pumpkin, cutting my kitchen hours down to minutes.
To make fresh pumpkin puree:
Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and cut down to about eight chunks. Cover with foil, and bake (flesh side down) for about 75 minutes at 375-degrees. When the flesh cools, use a spoon to scoop out the cooked pumpkin into a large bowl, leaving the skin behind.
If you have a super smart immersion blender, whip that goodness until blended, approx. 2 minutes. Otherwise use a blender. And there you go! Pumpkin puree. Now you can make all sorts of yummy pumpkin desserts. (I liked this idea hub from Better Homes and Gardens, especially the pumpkin mac-n-cheese!)
To make pumpkin butter, you should first make sure you have all of the ingredients. I missed that step last time. Boo. This recipe is adapted (to be simpler, cheaper, less sugary) from Oh She Glows.
- About 4 cups pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp agave or pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Put everything in a stockpot and cook on medium-high. Bring to a boil then reduce temp and simmer for 15 minutes or until you’ve reached a good, thick consistency. “Taste test” intermittently as an excuse. Once cooled, ladle the yum butter into a few half-pint jars and gift at least one. Then have yourself a treat and enjoy the sweet spiced smell that lingers in your home for hours.