After the Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns were all carved, lit, and composted I still had four pumpkins left that required some kind of attention. After gutting them I roasted the seeds and baked/ pureed the flesh. Most of the puree was measured into freezer bags and stacked in the freezer to be used through the winter (the first one will come out later this week for the requisite Thanksgiving pumpkin pie), but some was used to make a batch of pumpkin butter.
No, there is no butter – or even margarine – involved. This is totally fat-free (although definitely not calorie free).
Not familiar with pumpkin butter? I’ve found that most people aren’t, and when I say that it’s similar to apple butter it’s a toss up if I’ll get a blank look or comprehension. I next describe it as a pureed fruit spread – kind of a cross between jam and jelly – and usually the look of comprehension dawns. Pumpkin butter is awesome on toast, pancakes, and even spooned over vanilla ice cream.
The original recipe my mom had was cut from the Pioneer Press in the early 80s. I remember spending days in the kitchen with her cooking up batch after batch that we’d preserve and give as gifts. Alas… that recipe was lost a few years back, and every fall since I’ve been searching for a comparable one with no luck. This year I tried melding a few different recipes and came up with the recipe here. It’s pretty close to my memory, and my mom thought it was really good. I don’t have the equipment to go through the whole preserving process anymore, but instead divided it into freezer containers. Oh, and as it still makes a great gift, I’m continuing to share it with friends too…
Spicy Pumpkin Butter
1 - 29 oz. can of pumpkin puree (or fresh pureed pumpkin)
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or more, until thickened to desired consistency, stirring frequently.
Cool and refrigerate. It should keep in the refrigerator for about one month. Enjoy!