We’ve got an abundance of pumpkins in our family garden this year, so I thought it’d be fun to roast a few of our extras for pumpkin puree and pumpkin butter. I’m especially excited about the pumpkin butter because there’s so much you can do with it. You can go simple and spread it over toast like you would with jelly, or you can add a teaspoon or two into your morning yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothie. I’ve also heard it works great as a replacement for pumpkin puree in soup, and homemade pumpkin spice lattes. The only thing to note is that pumpkin butter is not shelf-stable after canning, so it definitely needs to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
To Roast Your Pumpkin:
Grab a small sugar pumpkin, wrap it in foil, and pop it on a cookie sheet in a 300°F oven until it’s squishy and deflated. It’ll take 3 or 4 hours, depending on the size of your pumpkin. Or use any other roasting method you’d like.
Once that’s done, scoop out the seeds and discard the skin before pulsing in a food processor until smooth, or run the entire pumpkin – seeds and all – through a food mill. Either way, you’ll end up with a smooth puree.
If you aren’t going to use your puree immediately, scoop it into a freezer-safe container. It will keep in the freezer for up to one year. Otherwise, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
To Make Pumpkin Butter, You’ll Need:
• 3 or 4 cups pumpkin puree
• 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
• 2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
• lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• pinch of salt
Pour the pumpkin puree, apple cider or apple juice, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg into a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Continue to stir frequently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture has reached your desired consistency. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt to taste. Stir until combined, and pour into clean jars. Store in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks. Alternatively, you can allow the mixture to cool completely, and store in your freezer (in freezer-friendly containers) for up to a year.
To package my pumpkin butter, I used half-pint jars that I decorated with raffia, and I chose pretty fall colored tags and labels in the style, Champagne.