Spiced Pumpkin Butter
Have you ever had pumpkin butter before?
It is probably my favorite fruit butter (remember pumpkins are fruits) with apple butter being a close second. I’m not entirely sure why but fruit butters always remind me of fall and winter. The great thing about any fruit butter is that they are pretty straightforward to make and really easy. And since it is October, the month of pumpkins, I thought this would be the perfect time to show you my favorite pumpkin butter recipe using fresh pumpkin.
Now, you can go get a can of pumpkin from the grocery store and that’ll save you some time especially if you don’t have any pumpkin on hand. But it’s just not as good as using fresh pumpkin. Plus this is a great way to minimize your packaging waste. And roasting pumpkin is not difficult (plus you do get those awesome seeds to roast too).
If you’re not familiar with what pumpkin to choose (it isn’t the same one you carve for Halloween) or the cooking process, I’ve got a post on how to cook pumpkin that might help. And now is the perfect time to try since pumpkins are everywhere. The extra time you spend roasting fresh pumpkin will be worth it. Girl scouts honor.
A Few Suggestions for a Zero Waste and Minimalist Kitchen
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I am one of those poor souls trapped with using a tiny kitchen in a cookie cutter apartment. You know what I am talking about. It’s one of those kitchens with very little counter space and barely enough room for two people to work in. In fact, we avoid being in there at the same time since we just trip over each other getting around. So needless to say, kitchen space is in short supply and that requires using as few appliances as possible.
Even if that wasn’t the case, I have always been a minimalist when it came to my kitchen appliances. I just don’t like having too many gadgets and clutter to get in my way. Plus more stuff just means more stuff to clean. But this setup has made me find a way to trim it down even more. So I love it when I can use one appliance for many different functions.
A High-Performance Blender
One such item is my high-performance Vitamix blender. This thing is like my Swiss Army knife of kitchen appliances. It acts as a blender, food processor, juicer (with pulp), and heating element all in one. In short, I highly recommend it especially for this recipe. It makes the smoothest pumpkin butter that you will ever have. Plus you won’t have to peel the apples unless you just want to.
But it isn’t the only option out there. I have been hearing really good things about the Blendtec Total Classic blender (affiliate link) as well and the price is comparable (or possibly cheaper) to the Vitamix. However, there are many good choices on the market so I suggest you do your research first before buying. If you are looking for ways to pare down you clutter, a high-performance blender like this is a worthy investment. The only downside is these puppies aren’t cheap. But they are worth every penny!
Heirloom Quality Cookware
Another transition we are slowly making in the kitchen is replacing all of our old pots and pans with heirloom quality cookware one at a time. Not only is this better for the environment with less cheap low quality cookware ending up in our landfills but buying heirloom cookware will save you tons of money in the long run.
360 Cookware is a company that makes heirloom quality stainless steel cookware that is far superior to the big brands. They are a small family-owned company out of Wisconsin. They pay their employees a fair wage with great benefits and manufacture their products using a process that creates a zero carbon footprint. Unfortunately, this cookware like anything made ethically and of high-quality, it won’t be cheap.
How to Make Pumpkin Butter
There are a few things you’ll need to start making pumpkin butter at home.
- You’ll need either a good blender or food processor. You could try to do this with a hand masher but it’ll come out lumpy which is fine for jam but not for butter.
- Second, you’ll need a saucepan that can fit about 4-5 cups with a little head space and a lid as this is going to get messy but that’s optional.
A Few Tips on This Recipe
Most pumpkin butter recipes call for using only pumpkin but I have found the best pumpkin butter also has a little apple. It’s a great natural way to add sweetness to the pumpkin. And it allows you to either entirely omit any sugar or significantly reduce how much you put in if desired. In fact, I tend to split my batch in half so part of it will be sugar-free.
If you have followed any of my other posts, you know I’m trying to keep sugar away from my 16-month-old daughter. This recipe works out great for her and she loves it! I mix it in her oatmeal, put it on toast with nut butter, and mix it in other purees to give her food some extra flavor. The funny thing is I prefer to eat the pumpkin butter without any added sugar over the batch with sugar for almost everything but a peanut butter sandwich. By this point, I’m really only adding the extra sugar for my partner. But now I am digressing here.
Now, I know some people are going to flip their biscuit when I say this but I’ve found the sweet varieties of apples (Fuji, Gala, etc.) work better for this than Granny Smith but you can use either one.
Also, you may want to peel the apples before chopping if you are using a standard blender or processor. However, if you’ve got a really good one, this isn’t necessary. I use a high-performance blender and with the skins, I still get a very smooth butter. That’s the last thing about the apples I swear.
The real trick with any fruit butter is how fast you cook it. These things can’t be rushed and it requires some babysitting. When you are cooking the apples in the juice you can edge it up a little over medium heat. What I mean by medium-high is a 6 maybe 7 (on 1-10 dial). However, once you add everything else it’s a bit more unforgiving. Because of that, you want to keep your burner no higher than a medium heat, around 5. And you’ll be stirring rather frequently too so you can’t really walk away too far.
The times will vary depending on your heat and desired thickness but I like to leave my butter cooking until it is so thick that it is the consistency of Greek yogurt. The best way to check it is to turn off the heat and let it sit of about 5-10 minutes without stirring. If there is a lot of liquid separating from the puree, then it needs to reduce further. I have found that my butter is ready in about 20-30 minutes.
Lastly, I think it’s important to mention the butter really needs to chill overnight for the best flavor. The way that it tastes while warm and just off the stove isn’t going to be how it tastes tomorrow. I’ve made the mistake in the past thinking there wasn’t enough seasonings in it and added more only to have the butter the next day come out inedible.
So what can you use pumpkin butter for?
It’s not just for sandwiches even though a good peanut and pumpkin butter sandwich is out of this world! But I also put it in smoothies, oatmeal, on top of ice cream, and in my yogurt just for starters.
But that’s really all there is to it! Not too bad, right?
Love all things pumpkin or other winter squash and their roasted seeds? So do we! You might want to check out our vanilla cardamom squash seeds, spicy maple roasted pumpkin seeds (v), spiced pumpkin shrimp soup, pumpkin muffins (v), and pumpkin hummus (v)!
v – vegan
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #sustainablesauceresses!
Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!
Spiced Pumpkin Butter
- 3-Quart Saucepan
- Blender or Food Processor
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Cutting Board
- 2 cups fresh apples, chopped peeled optional
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 cup apple juice
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ tsp. cinnamon, ground
- ½ tsp. allspice, ground
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg, ground
- ¼ tsp. pink himalayan or sea salt
- ⅙ tsp. clove, ground
- In a saucepan, add the apples and apple juice.
- On a med to med-high heat cook the apples for about 10-15 mins. or until easily pierced with a fork.
- Transfer the apples with the juice along with the pumpkin, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour everything back in the saucepan.
- Cook over a medium heat covered with the lid slightly ajar to vent steam for 20-30 or until the butter is thick enough to gather on a spoon. Stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
- Let it stand uncovered for 10 minutes to reduce further.
- Ladle hot butter into jars. Will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks if stored in an air-tight container. Will keep in the freezer for a year.
Did you give this recipe a try?