Spiced Pumpkin Butter

Spiced Pumpkin Butter
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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.

Using fresh homemade pumpkin puree is better tasting and less packaging waste.

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.

For this recipe, I would highly recommend using a 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan (affiliate links). But once again, these guys are not 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.

Using a high-performance blender is worth the money. This is my pumpkin butter made with unpeeled apples.

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

This pumpkin butter is subtly spicy, mellow, sweet, and incredibly delicious with no added cane sugar. Very versatile and easy to make!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: butter, fall recipes, fresh pumpkin, homemade, pumpkin
Servings: 16 2-Tbsp
Author: Tina

Equipment

  • 3-Quart Saucepan
  • Blender or Food Processor
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Spatula
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board

Ingredients

  • 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
  • tsp. clove, ground

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

If the butter becomes too thick, add water or juice for desired consistency.
Peel apples before cooking if desired or using a conventional blender or processor.

Did you give this recipe a try?

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Happy Cooking!



10 thoughts on “Spiced Pumpkin Butter”

  • 5 stars
    Great recipe! I love it. I haven’t tried coconut sugar before, but it turned out amazing. The funny thing, I love apple butter and peanut butter sandwiches, and now I love pumpkin butter and peanut butter sandwiches. I don’t eat them often because the store bought usually taste way too sweet and most of it has corn syrup. Thanks for sharing, the homemade recipe. Keep these recipes coming! Especially during the fall. Cheers!

    • Hi JB and thanks for trying my recipe!

      I’m really glad you liked it. I’m really trying to cut down my sugar intake and my daughter isn’t fed any sugar that isn’t already present in the food like fruits and coconut water. Coconut sugar is still sugar but at least it provides some nutrition so it’s better than the alternative. I started getting into making my own jam and butter because the store bought ones usually have corn syrup like you mentioned or a ton of sugar. This way I can control it.

      Thanks again I appreciate you letting me know how it went!
      Tina

  • I have not tried any pumpkin recipes before, but I have heard that they are really tasty especially now it is coming up to the festive holiday of Halloween. 🙂

    I will definitely be trying out this recipe so thank you for sharing, and my favourite alternative to sugar is coconut sugar, so many health benefits.

    Have a great day and all the success, health and happiness that you deserve and desire. Take care.

    Kind regards.

    Dean.

    • Hi Dean! Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to leave me some feedback.

      I agree about coconut sugar. It’s a great alternative to cane sugar and it works really well in any recipe I’ve tried so far. Sugar is sugar so you definitely want to keep any sugar consumption in moderation but at least with coconut sugar, it has some nutrition so it isn’t just empty calories.

      I thought with pumpkin season being in full swing that this would be the perfect time to post some of my favorite pumpkin recipes. I hope you give it a try and please let me know how it works for you!

      If you have any questions, I will be happy to help!
      Tina

  • This is such a perfectly timed article! My wife and I have a bunch of family/friend events coming up and you know the one thing about those – you need to bring food!

    I really like this for the novelty factor and the fact that it probably tastes amazing. We like to stand out with what we bring to parties and this fits the bill perfectly! Keep the good recipes coming!

    • Thank you so much David!

      I make a ton of pumpkin butter around the holidays for gifts. Everyone always seems to just love it and it’s safe for any kind of diet out there since coconut sugar has a low glycemic index and is completely vegan. Please let me know how it works out for you and your parties! If you have any questions let me know!

      Take care! Tina

  • What a great idea!
    I can’t wait to make pumpkin butter. My kids are so fussy with their food but your recipe seems like something I can use to get them to eat more vegetables!
    Thanks for the informative post and great site!

    • Hi Marketa! Thanks so much for visiting!

      Pumpkin butter is such an awesome staple in the kitchen and my daughter just loves it! I hope you and your family enjoy the recipe! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch. I am always happy to help!

      Tina

      P.S. If you are looking for ideas on how to get your kids to eat more veggies, have you considered smoothies? I have a post on green smoothies for kids that might help you out.

  • 5 stars
    I’m so glad I stumbled across this today!! My mother used to make the most delicious pumpkin butter and I’ve always had trouble replicating it. So when I saw this I knew I had to try it. You’re so helpful with your descriptions and it really made me think you might be onto something here. And of course you are! I haven’t tried it yet – leaving it in the fridge overnight like you suggested – but my apartment smells heavenly right now, and I think the blend of spices is absolutely perfect. I’m so excited to try it in the morning! And just in time for pumpkin season.

    I have to tell you, I was actually wondering about the apples. I’ve tried making something like it with granny smith apple and it wasn’t quite right. I definitely think royal gala’s the way to go.

    Anyway, great share as always, thank you! 🙂

    • Hello Rachael!

      And thank you! I’m so glad you liked the recipe.

      I know a lot of pumpkin butter recipes out there don’t use apples in them. To me, it seemed such a shame not to use a little. Pumpkin isn’t very sweet on its own so the choice was between more sugar or another kind of sweetener. Apples add some nutrition and I leave the skins on them for the fiber. If you have a good blender or food processor, you won’t even notice the skins in the finished product. I also think the pectin from the apples helps to get that consistency and thickness that you really want in any kind of fruit spread.

      Thanks for giving my recipe a try and taking the time to leave me your feedback as well. I hope I will see you again!
      Tina

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