As the song says Christmas and it’s associated trappings & trimmings is, indeed, the most wonderful time of the year. But not too terribly long before that is the other most wonderful time: the pumpkin harvest! Like millions of others in this world, I LOVE pumpkin. It’s very good in savory dishes but it truly does shine in the sweet ones. Like it was created solely for pies, breads, cakes, and all other things sweet. And next to apple, pumpkin pie is my favorite. It takes less than 5 minutes to mix up (if you have the crust already done) and it’s smooth, custardy texture is heaven in the mouth. My recipe for pumpkin butter is like pie in a jar that you can enjoy anytime with just a couple of minutes’ preparation. My kids’ favorite way to eat pumpkin butter is on buttered toast for breakfast. But put this over a brick of softened cream cheese and serve with vanilla wafers or pita chips and you have a fun, creative dessert that is perfect for a party.
Making pumpkin butter is just as easy as making pumpkin pie- you just have to stick close to it a little longer. Here’s what you need:
You can use plain apple juice if that’s easier for you to get your hands on, but apple cider adds a depth of flavor that apple juice can’t. But even if you don’t have cider on hand make this butter! It will still turn out incredible!
All you have to do is measure the ingredients, pour them in the pan, and stir while the butter reduces and thickens. It really couldn’t be easier! But you do want to stay close by the stove. This is a thick mixture with very little liquid to begin with so you will need to be right next to it to stir it every couple of minutes to start out, and then constantly for the last few minutes or you will have scorched pumpkin butter and no one wants that!
I would tell you exactly how long it will take for the mixture to reduce and become butter but I can’t. It depends on your range. Once the mixture comes up to a simmer it usually takes about 10 minutes over medium low heat, stirring constantly for the last 3 or 4 minutes. Your range will most likely vary, so just keep an eye on it. You end up with…
Thick, rich, pumpkin-pie-in-a-jar that you can eat for breakfast! Of course, I really DO eat pumpkin pie for breakfast. But if you can’t bring yourself to do that here is a fantastic alternative! You’re welcome 😀
1 3/4 C or 1 Can Pumpkin Puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 t Vanilla
1/3 C Apple Cider (or Juice)
1/2 C Brown Sugar
2 t Cinnamon
1 t Ginger
SCANT 1/2 t Nutmeg
You could add 1/2 t Cloves if you’d like, but I don’t really care for cloves- certainly not in my pumpkin pie.
*Put all ingredients into a heavy bottomed saucepan.
*Bring to a simmer.
*Simmer until very thick. (This will be when it’s reduced by about 1/3.)
*Cool and transfer to a suitable container. I use canning jars with lids & rings.
*Must be stored in the refrigerator.
NOTE: I usually double this recipe and come up with enough to fill 2 pint jars plus about 1/2 C extra. I keep one jar & the extra in the fridge and give the other pint to my parents, who share my love of pumpkin butter.