Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Butter

This yummy treat is pumpkin pie on steroids!

Pumpkin butter is one of fall's best-kept-secrets.  I didn't know it existed, until I tasted a sample at a local farmers' market a few years back.  I bought a jar then, but vowed to give it a whirl myself this year.

Thus far, I've made two batches, one with true pie pumpkin (none of that canned pumpkin for this foodie) and the other with a blue gourd-like squash that came highly recommended.

I seeded both, cut them into large 3 x 4 inch chunks, and roasted the flesh skin-side up on a foil covered cookie sheet, so the puree would have a rich, nutty flavor. As the flesh cooked, it browned and caramelized slightly (400 degree oven, about 30 minutes).

When cooled, I simply scraped the cooked flesh away from the skins, and processed.  Just for kicks, I used an old-fashioned, food mill to puree the pumpkin, and a more modern food processor for the squash.

As I began to process the pumpkin in the food mill, I noticed it was beginning to puree without actually going through the mill.  When I was satisfied that it was ground enough, I simply dumped the pumpkin left in the food mill, into the bowl with the puree that came through the seive.

As you might imagine, the pumpkin had a bit more texture than the squash, which had a very soft, butter-like texture after being electronically processed.  There wasn't any noticeable taste difference, but the squash was easier to clean/seed.  With everything said and done, I prefer the texture of the hand processed pumpkin.  I think its just a bit more interesting!

3 cups baked and pureed pumpkin (one whole pie pumpkin), or winter squash.
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup strained lemon juice
1 teaspoon (I used a bit more) cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

In a kettle, combine all of the ingredients.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture thickens to your taste.

Remove from heat and spoon into jelly jars.  Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Or, store in refrigerator in air-tight containers for several weeks.  Delicious on toast, or muffins.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for posting this! I've been collecting people's pumpkins and have been roasting them in the oven and saving the puree to make muffins and feed to a hungry baby! (pumpkin puree mixed with applesauce is her current have)
    I just collected three more pie pumpkins today and hope to make a batch of this with some of it!