I think spiced pumpkin butter makes the perfect Christmas gift. You get the opportunity to use up all those Halloween pumpkins that have been sitting on the back porch… since Halloween or use up all those extra cans of pumpkin puree that are sitting on your pantry shelves waiting to collect dust until… next Halloween. And since Thanks giving is weeks away suddenly the pre-Christmas frenzy will be upon us. Yes, even in the Italian countryside (where I live) one must plan ahead.
A medium-sized (about 4-pound) pumpkin yields about 1 1/2 cups mashed pumpkin (which is just under 15 oz). I used half of a larger pumpkin for the recipe. I first cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces, small enough to put on a baking sheet skin sides facing down. Melted butter and brushed the butter onto the flesh of the pumpkin and baked the pumpkin at 375 degrees for about an hour. I allowed the flesh to cool and then scooped it into a bowl and then into the pot with the rest of the ingredients found in the recipe below. I chose to take these steps because my pumpkin patch was overflowing and I was over pumpkin soup, pie, bread, ravioli…I think you catch my drift.
The recipe below calls for canned pumpkin puree which by and large is easier. Can opener to can…open can and scoop the puree into the pot. Done. But as I mentioned if you do have the pumpkins sitting around don’t let them go to waste. Make jars of pumpkin butter. The butter tastes great on Christmas morning pancakes.
Spiced Pumpkin Butter
Makes 5 to 6 cups
Two 15-ounce cans pumpkin puree
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1-1/4 cups caster (superfine) sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- Place all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pot, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, uncovered
- Lower the heat and simmer 40 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Ladle the hot pumpkin mixture into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at the top of the jar. Remove any air bubbles by gently shaking the jars and wipe the rims of the jars. Cover tightly with the lids.
- Submerge the jars in a large pot of water; the water level should reach to 1 inch above the top of the jars. Bring the water to a boil and boil the jars for 10 minutes, to seal them. Remove the jars from the pot using tongs and let cool.
- The jars can be stored in a cool, dark cupboard for up to 6 months. Once opened, the pumpkin butter will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.