For those of you who love both apple butter and the flavor of pumpkin, pumpkin butter is the natural next step! Think pumpkin pie on a spoon: spread on top of your toast, dolloped on your favorite scone, or even spooned over ice-cream.
Pumpkin butter is a cinch to make! I made mine in the crockpot which made it a no-brainer and resulted in a pumpkin-pie-aroma floating through the house and 6 lovely cups of butter with hardly any effort. Now, contrary to apple butter, pumpkin butter cannot be processed (see the National Center for Home Food Preservation if you doubt that). So, that means you need to store your finished product in the fridge or freezer.
(adapted from easteuropeanfood.about.com)
1 pound pie pumpkin, peeled and cubed or 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin
1/2 to 1 cup sugar (white or brown — or, you could substitute 1/2 cup agave syrup)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
If using fresh pumpkin: place pumpkin and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the pumpkin has broken down. Strain through a sieve or food mill. If using canned pumpkin, omit this step and pick up below.
Combine pumpkin puree with sugar and spices, and choose one of the following cooking methods.
Slow Cooker: Place pumpkin mixture in a slow cooker with the lid partially off to let steam escape. Set at low and cook, stirring occasionally for 6-12 hours, or until thick enough so the butter doesn’t run off the spoon when turned upside down.
Stovetop: Place pumpkin mixture in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 1-2 hours or until thick enough so the butter doesn’t run off a spoon when turned upside down.
Oven: Heat oven to 250 degrees. Place pumpkin mixture in a heatproof casserole dish or roaster. Bake, stirring only occasionally, for 1-3 hours or until thick enough so the butter doesn’t run off a spoon when turned upside down.
Place hot butter into hot sterilized jars. Cover with sterilized lids and rings. Allow to cool and then store in the fridge for up to three weeks, or in the freezer for up to one year.
Makes 1 pint.
Note: I tripled this batch and used my crock pot. The first batch I made I left overnight, but felt it was too long. I made the second batch during the day so I could stop the cooking when I liked the consistency.