Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Scrumptious Pumpkin Butter

Scrumptious Pumpkin Butter


It's time for all things pumpkin. The first day of fall was yesterday I believe. If I'm being honest though, I've been pumpkin crazy for over half a month now. I fully realize not everyone has pumpkin zeal like me, but come on WHY NOT? My husband is definitely one of those pumpkin haters. I still manage to love him.

So speaking of my husband, his lovely sister was in the area and stopped by to visit the other day. In doing so she gifted me with this cutie little pumpkin
I mean it's seriously one of the cutest little pumpkins I've seen. I immediately wanted to save him to decorate, but I just knew he wouldn't make it that long. I'm still not entirely sure, but I think he is a sugar pumpkin. I've made pumpkin puree in the past with jack-o-lantern left overs. It was okay, but I knew that this year I'd be seeking out sugar pumpkins for my puree. After much deliberation, I decided to slice and dice him. Let's all take a moment to acknowledge little Pumpkie's sacrifice.

Okay so moving on! Can I just say there is no good way to cut open a pumpkin?! I labored over this little guy for a while to peel, chop, and de-seed. It is a lot of work, but TRUST ME it will be totally worth it. I'd also like to apologize for my terrible photography. I was not intending to blog this recipe, but after some social media buzz I decided it was necessary.
Here he is getting all naked. I saved some of my peels for stove top potpourri. The peels are pretty. If you throw them in with around 2 cups of water, a cinnamon stick, a few whole cloves, and little vanilla, it will make your house smell like Fall. I burn it all day long on my back burner on low. You just have to add water throughout the day to be sure your ingredients stay covered. 
Now back to this pumpkin butter. Chopping time! Cutting the little sucker in half is going to be one of the most difficult parts. Once you get that, it's downhill from there.





 From here all you have to do is chop him up into squares. I did one to two inch pieces and that seemed to work nicely. Throw it all into your slow cooker and look at your progress. I was so relieved at this point. Now all you have to do is add the sugar, spices, and water. The slow cooker will do the rest for you. Okay that's a lie, You still have to mash it a little and fill containers.

I will warn you, after making this you are going to want to make fruit butters with your slow cooker all the time! It makes your entire house smell better than any candle you can buy. It's incredible.
Here is a close up of all my pumpkin coated in the yummy good stuff. Cook it on low for 8-12 hours, mash it all with a potato masher and blend with an immersion blender if you have one. BE CAREFUL! Hot pumpkin in your eye is not the ultimate goal here. I added a bit more water at this point and took the cinnamon sticks out. I don't see any reason you couldn't throw them back in for the next step if you want. Then I set it on low for 6 hours more and when I woke up it was ready for the food processor.

I recommend blending this stuff in small batches. Pumpkin butter is so dense it could create a little problem filling your food processor to the top. Once that is done, fill up your freezer containers and let them rest for a bit. Once they cool freeze it. My batch yielded 4 quart size containers and a little left over for the fridge. I do not recommend you can pumpkin butter. I almost did and then a friend let me on to this link which points out the issues in doing this. Basically pumpkin is so dense that you can't ensure it's getting heated all the way through (even with pressure canning).

Have fun and enjoy your pumpkin butter. It's fantastic on so many things: toaster biscuits, pancakes, oatmeal, and apparently also in coffee. Seriously it's actually good in coffee with cream and a little extra sugar. ENJOY AND HAPPY FALL!


Scrupmtious Pumpkin Butter Recipe


Photo courtesy of Courtney Frainee.

Ingredients:
  • 1 sugar pumpkin around 5-7 lbs.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water (plus more mid-cooking)
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
Directions:

  1. Cut pumpkin in half and remove all seeds. Remove stem and peel skin off.
  2. Cut into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes and place into slow cooker
  3. Add all other ingredients to slow cooker and give a thorough mixing. Place cinnamon sticks on top.
  4. Set to low for 8 hours.
  5. Remove cinnamon sticks and blend with a potato masher first, then an immersion/stick blender.
  6. Add a little more water (about 1/4 cup) to prevent the pumpkin from burning on the sides of the slow cooker.
  7. Cook on low for an additional 6 hours.
  8.  Ladle your pumpkin butter in small batches into a food processor or blender and puree. I recommend about 2 cups at a time.
  9. Transfer to freezer containers, let cool to room temperature, and freeze. Do not can pumpkin butter.
  10. Enjoy your pumpkin butter on whatever fits your fancy!