When I set out to make pumpkin butter, every recipe I came across started with canned pumpkin. I figured that if I was going to go through the trouble of making my own pumpkin butter (trouble is really a relative term because this recipe is SO easy), that I could muster up the energy to roast a pumpkin, since I had purchased three little sugar pumpkins that were taking up space on my counter.
Freshly roasted pumpkin is so wonderful and delicious. The flesh caramelizes ever so slightly to give it this rich, nutty flavor that is absolutely lacking in the canned version. And it takes only 30 minutes, which is just enough time to shower and dry my hair–I’m big into multi-tasking. Let it cool for a few minutes, then blitz it in your food processor (or using your handy stick blender), and you are ready to rock and roll. A 1 1/4 pound sugar (or pie) pumpkin yields about 2 cups of puree or about the same amount as a small can of pumpkin.
Pumpkin butter is a thing of pure beauty. In fall, we put it on just about everything–pancakes, muffins, toast, bagels, in peanut butter sandwiches (the kids LOVE pb & pumpkin butter sandwiches), warmed and over vanilla ice cream, and in my coffee (who needs Starbucks when you can make a pumpkin latte at home?). Like some kind of culinary Midas Touch, it turns absolutely everything it touches into pumpkin pie.
If you make enough (and double the recipe or use smaller jars), you can give it as a hostess gift at one of those parties you’re always being invited to. It keeps for 3 weeks in the fridge, or 3 months in the freezer (make sure to leave plenty of room in top of the jar if you plan to freeze it). Your friends will love you forever and ever.
- 1 small pie pumpkin (about 1¼ pounds) or 2 cups pumpkin puree
- ⅓-2/3 cup brown sugar (to taste, depending on how sweet your pumpkin is)
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ½ cup unfiltered apple juice, preferably organic
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve the pumpkin from top to bottom and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Set cut-side down on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with gluten-free cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes, or until flesh is tender and pumpkin can be easily pierced with a knife. Cool for 10 minutes.
- Scoop out the flesh from the pumpkin and puree until smooth using a stick blender, blender, or food processor. If you are using canned pumpkin obviously skip the last two steps.
- Add the pumpkin puree to a medium saucepan, along with the sugars, apple juice, maple syrup, spices and salt. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. The mixture will be thick.
- Pour pumpkin butter into sterilized jars and refrigerate. Use within 3 weeks.