I’ve finally gotten around to sharing my pumpkin butter recipe, and it’s creation has a funny back story. A few years ago my mom sent me a link for a pumpkin butter recipe she wanted me to make (I have gotten in the habit of making my family tins of baked goods as Christmas gifts, and she hinted this would be a good addition!). So off I went, and made a decent sized batch of pumpkin butter, and stuck it in cute jars in the freezer. When it came time to give the jars to my mom and brothers, she had actually forgotten about sending me the recipe and was quite surprised to get this treat! It was well received though, so it has become a regular addition to the Christmas tins.
Admittedly, I was not all that successful with the original recipe so I decided to create my own this year. It’s still simple, and you can use canned pumpkin from the store, but I like to make the puree from scratch! To be honest, this isn’t so much a recipe as it is an idea…I am not very good at remembering to write down the exact measurements in recipes I create, but that is okay for the pumpkin butter because it can be made to suit your tastes.
I know it looks like a daunting task, but I promise you it’s easy!! Personally, I have better results using homemade puree as opposed to the store bought but either is fine.
- pumpkins (I used a mix of pie pumpkins and carving pumpkins. For this batch I used a total of 3 pumpkins) OR canned pumpkin puree, not filling. You will need about 3-4 cans of pumpkin.
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅓ cup brown sugar (optional)
- If you are using canned pumpkin, skip to step 9
- If you are making the puree yourself, begin by washing the outside of the pumpkins and preheating your oven to 350F.
- Using a sharp, non-serrated knife, cut the top of the pumpkin off. You don’t need to do a large hole, just enough to get your hand inside.
- Discard the top (I feed it to my chickens, but you can just compost it) and scoop out the seeds inside the pumpkin (Check out my video below for an easy tutorial). Don’t worry about getting all the stringy stuff out because it will all be pureed anyways.
- Set aside the seeds, and cut the pumpkin into wedges. The smaller they are, the less time it takes to cook.
- Once the oven has preheated, arrange the pumpkin, skin side down, in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Cook until the flesh is tender and can be poked easily with a fork (for me, this was about 1 hour but you want them really soft!).
- Remove from the oven, and cool until they can be handled without burning yourself. Then simply scrape the flesh out and put it all into a food processor. Puree until it’s all smooth (you may need to do it in batches).
- Combine the puree and spices in a large pot and bring to a boil with the pot lid on. Once it boils, turn the heat down and CAREFULLY remove the lid to stir the mixture. Replace the lid and keep it all simmering until it thickens; stir occasionally.
- When you have reached the desired thickness, remove from the heat and carefully ladle into clean jars or containers. Store it in the fridge for a couple weeks or freezer for up to one year. If you freeze it, leave about one inch of space so the butter can expand without damaging your jars.
Check out my video for scraping out the seeds here. Apologies for the bad quality…I was filming with my left hand and trying not to gum up my camera!
I want to share two warning with you: the first being that you need to be very careful with the boiling of this mixture because it is so thick, so instead of boiling like water, it shoots up and splatters! I have been burned from it, and it made a mess in my kitchen. The second note is that you CAN NOT can this safely. Pureed pumpkin is so thick that traditional canning methods, including water bath or pressure canning, are not able to kill all the potential bacteria. There are manufactures who sell pumpkin butter but they have much better equipment than what is available to the home canner. If you want to make this as a gift, I suggest still putting it in glass jars and then thawing it before giving it away. That’s what I do!
In case you are more visual, here are some photos of the steps, starting with cutting the wedges.
Leave the stringies, since it all gets pureed together!
To get the flesh off the outside skin, I slide a large spoon between them and am able to get it all off in one shot. If you cannot do this, the pumpkin likely needs to cook longer.
My mom uses her pumpkin butter in pancake batter, but others have said it is good on toast with peanut butter, or just as a little snack :)
I like my pumpkin butter to be so thick is stays in the jar like this! You can cook yours for less time if you want it to be a bit more runny.
Next week I will sharing my pumpkin brownie recipe, using some of this goodness! I hope you enjoyed the recipe today, and will come back for the brownies!