Monday, September 27, 2010

Pumpkin Butter!!!

Since the Apple Butter turned out so well I was itching to get my hands on something else to can. I came across a canning recipe for pumpkin butter. I admit, I was curious. I dove in and picked up 10 Pie Pumpkins to give it a whirl. Pie Pumpkins are the smaller pumpkins you can find in the market, it's a better texture to eat than the big pumpkins you use for Jack O Lanterns. (not sure why I only took a picture of 4 of the pumpkins...huh)
Cut each pumpkin in half, remove the stem.
Then scrap out all the seeds and stringy insides. Evan Grace, of course, wanted to help, though she complained of how sticky the insides were the entire time.
Once everything is all cleaned out, pour a few inches of water into a microwavable bowl and cover with a lid. Microwave for 15 minutes and test with a fork to see if the insides are soft. Test it like you would a baked potato. If 15 minutes doesn't do the job then pop it back in the microwave for another 5 minutes at a time until it is soft.

Be careful removing this hot bowl from the microwave or you'll end up with a broken microwave plate like I did....sigh.....I had cooked every single pumpkin without incident and then last one I pull out of the microwave I do this.

Carefully remove the pumpkin from the hot water, and peel the skin off. If the skin is stubborn or really hard like a few of my pumpkins were, then just scoop the insides out with a spoon and place them in a separate bowl.

Use a nifty hand blender or whatever you my have to puree the pumpkin until smooth. Repeat with all your pumpkins until you've got 7 quarts of pumpkin puree. I decided to put back a quart and a half of pumpkin puree for a Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie. I can taste it already.

Next add 5 quarts of your pumpkin puree to a large slow cooker. Add in
2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon of allspice
4 cups sugar (yes, I did say 4 cups of sugar)

Mix it all well, and then put the lid half on the slow cooker, or you can use the same knife trick I used with the Apple Butter. The steam has to escape in order for the Pumpkin Butter to thicken up.  Let this cook 6-12 hours or overnight. I let mine go overnight. The next morning give everything a good stir and then add in 2-3 more quarts of pumpkin puree (whatever you have left from the night before) and 2 more cups of sugar.
Let everything cook another hour or two to make sure all the flavors mix and then you're ready to ladle to store your Pumpkin Butter. Since pumpkins aren't an acidic food it's not recommended to can Pumpkin Butter. But you can let this cool down and then spoon it into freezer bags or if you've got any nifty freezer plastic like I do, just spoon it in, leaving about an inch of head space between the top of the butter and your lid and then freeze.

I was skeptical about Pumpkin Butter. I like pumpkin bread, and pies, and even muffins and I get all excited with Starbucks brings back their Pumpkin Spice Latte. Pumpkin Butter, though, takes the cake. It's amazing; creamy, smooth, sweet without being too sweet and I can't believe I'm saying it, but I think I'm guilty of liking it better than apple butter...gasp! If you give this a try let me know how it turns out and what side of the fence you're on. Apple Butter or Pumpkin Butter, either way you've got some tasty things canned for the rest of the year. :)

No comments: