There is probably no single food that captures the evocative core of fall as perfectly as pumpkin butter. It tastes like the month of October, Halloween and Thanksgiving all rolled into one, spicy and sweet and warming. What good, essential, addictive stuff.
And it’s so easy to make. Don’t worry about perfectly measuring everything with this recipe – it’s flexible and forgiving. For instance, I am very fond of ginger, so I added more than is called for in the recipe below. You may want to add spices conservatively, tasting as you go.
Also know that pumpkin butter is not the kind of product that can be canned and stored on a shelf; the pH is too low to safely preserve. So, keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze it for six months.
3 cups pureed pumpkin (from about 4.25 pounds fresh sugar pumpkin)
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 – 3/4 cup water (can use apple cider as well; adjust sugar accordingly)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 tsp clove
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice pumpkins in half with a sharp knife. Remove stem and scoop out seeds and pulp with spoon. Reserve the seeds for roasting. (Recipe to follow.)
Roast pumpkins in a baking dish until soft when pierced with fork, about 35-45 minutes, depending on the size. When mine were ready, the skins slipped right off. Otherwise, scoop flesh from pumpkin. Discard skins.
In a heavy pot over low heat, combine all ingredients. Simmer for up to one hour, stirring at regular intervals to avoid burning, until the mixture has thickened. Blend with an immersion blender or transfer in batches to an upright blender and puree. Spoon into jars and refrigerate. You may also freeze it.