By Laura Hogg
From the Laura's Culinary Adventures Blog Series
To illustrate just how delicious pumpkin butter is, I'm going to start off with a little anecdote that explains why this stuff is a bit of a joke within my family:
When my oldest brother Chip was around 12 years old, my mom had to go out of town for several days - the longest she had ever been away from the family. On the morning she returned, Chip was hunched over the breakfast table, shoveling cereal in his mouth.
My mom came into the kitchen. "Chip, I'm back!" she said, coming up behind him to give him a hug. "I've missed you - I'm so glad to be back! It's been so long! How have you been?"
He kept on eating. "Oh, hey Mom," he mumbled, not looking up.
"I brought back some pumpkin butter," she said.
Suddenly, he came alive. "PUMPKIN BUTTER?! WHAT? Are you serious? Where is it??"
Yes, that's how good pumpkin butter is. You will love it more than your mother.
...Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration. I just can't resist poking fun at my brother with old stories from over a decade ago.
All exaggerations aside, this recipe is incredible. And it's so easy - really easy - you really have no excuse not to make it. So what are you waiting for?
Homemade Pumpkin Butter
- 3 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- dash of ground nutmeg
First, start out with a clean kitchen. This will in no way affect the taste, but it just feels good - and it's good for your mental and physical health, so why not?
Next, take the fresh pumpkin puree you already made (okay, fine, you can use a can. But as I've already pointed out, that's way less fun). Admire the gorgeous yellow color for a minute, and get ready for the deliciousness that is about to ensue.
Gather all the rest of your ingredients...
...and mix them together in a medium/large saucepan. Yes, I know I put in more apple cider than the recipe called for...there was just a tiny bit of cider left, and I didn't want it to go to waste. Because of the extra liquid, I ended up needing to strain the butter when I was done, but it worked just fine!
Anyway, bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer for 30-45 minutes or until thick, stirring often. WARNING: You will be sorely tempted to stick your face in the pumpkin butter while it is cooking, because it will smell and taste so delicious. Do not do this, as it could result in severe burns. If you must taste as you go, take a little spoonful and allow it to cool.
(If you have leftover puree and you're not planning on using it immediately, it's a good idea to freeze it while your pumpkin butter is simmering. Just strain out the extra liquid and measure the puree into 1-cup servings, and put it into Ziploc bags, squeezing out the excess air. Make sure to label the bags so you don't forget how much you put in, like I know I would.)
Once the butter has the right consistency (thick, not too liquid-y - you don't want it to soak through whatever you put it on. Strain it if it seems too runny), let it sit until it's cool enough to taste...and you're done! Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container and use it within 3 weeks or so...though I doubt it'll last that long.
Love it/like it/lesson learned?
Are you kidding me? This recipe is a definite love it, of course! I have nothing bad to say about it. I enjoyed mine on top of some zucchini bread with some butternut squash soup for dinner, and it was glorious - the most perfect autumn meal I think I've ever had.
Pumpkin butter tastes like all the best of autumn. It is pretty much happiness concentrate. So go, go, make it right now!