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Pumpkin Butter

4 pints of deliciousness!

I know that I can buy pumpkin butter at the store.  I can buy canned pumpkin at the store, too.  And canned, packaged, and/or prepared just about anything else.

But buying something pre-made is just not the same as making it myself.  Yes, it is easier to open up a jar.  To me, it’s not nearly as rewarding.  There is something mystical and magical about cooking.  About blending flavors.  About taking something and making it different.  About watching eyes light up and smiles on faces as people see and try different foods.

Pumpkin.

Most people know it as something that comes out of a can that says Libby Libby Libby on the label label label. Or as a frozen Mrs Smiths pie. Or carved into a jack o’lantern on halloween.

I don’t think a lot of people even know what to do with a pumpkin other than carve it or use it as a fall centerpiece on a dining table that never gets used.

It’s too bad, because besides tasting great, pumpkins are actually good for you, too.  It’s low-calorie, high in beta carotene, potassium, fat-free, sodium-free… And really versatile.

From soups and stews to pies and flan, salad dressings to a sauce for meatballs, sweet or savory, it can go with just about anything.

My Uncle Dick – half Irish and half-Mexican – made a Jalapeño Pumpkin Soup that was outstanding.  I made a pie last night.

And Pumpkin Butter, today.

I have to admit I had no intention of making pumpkin butter, today, but I was perusing David Lebovitz’ blog and followed a link to Hedonia and that became my inspiration.  Two guys in San Francisco cooking?  Sounds like Victor and me before we moved east.

The fun guys at Hedonia got their inspiration from About.com.

The only difference was About.com called for “pumpkin pie spice” and Hedonia made his own blend.  As did I.

This is the recipe I used:

Pumpkin Butter

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked and pureed pumpkin
  • 1 (1.75-ounce) package powdered pectin
  • 4-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter

Preparation:
Place pumpkin in a heavy kettle. Stir in pectin. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar, spices, and butter. Continue stirring and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard exactly 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir 5 minutes.

Ladle jam into 1/2 pint hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust caps according to manufacture’s directions. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. After cooling, check seals.

Yield: 6 (1/2-pint) jars.

Boil hard exactly 4 minutes.
Stir for 5 minutes.

I did get slightly more than what the recipe called for, but I probably used a bit more pumpkin. (You know me and measuring…)  It still came out great.

Love it!

**Update

Just got an email from Sean at Hedonia…  He says:

Since making this, I’ve learned that the USDA does not recommend home canning of pumpkin puree by any method. Pumpkin is a low-acid food, and the puree is very dense, so even pressure canning can potentially not heat the product sufficiently to kill botulism spores. This can be frozen, to great effect, however.
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