Hello, pumpkin season! What should I do to make the most of you? I can only eat so much pie, so I’ve been looking for recipes that’ll make better use of the pumpkin supply from our CSA (we’re 4 years in with Porter Farms from Elba, NY and still love it). This year: Pumpkin Butter.
Our maiden voyage into the world of homemade pumpkin butter began with a single pie pumpkin. It yielded so much spread that we’ve frozen it, and will probably be chipping away at our stash until the snow melts. Cozy things!
What you’ll need:
- 1 pie pumpkin
- brown sugar
- maple syrup
If you’re thinking this is going to be laborious, think again. You’ll use an oven, and then you’ll use a slow cooker, so it’s just about as hands-off as any recipe could be.
Start with your pumpkin:
Put it on a baking sheet covered with foil.
Preheat oven to 350.
Then take a drill bit or a sharp knife, and bore a few ventilation holes in the top of the pumpkin. No one needs a pressurized, explosive pumpkin inside their oven (that would make this a bit more uh, hands on).
Bake it for an hour, whole, much like you would cook any other relative of the squash family. You’ll know it’s ready to come out when you can easily poke through the skin with the prongs of a fork.
Remove the pumpkin from the oven and slice it in half. Remove and toss the seeds, and then scoop the flesh into the slow cooker.
In a separate bowl, I mixed 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1 tsp each nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. Added a pinch of cloves, too. You’ll be able to go back while the butter is cooking to add more spices. Exact quantities vary by preference (and the size of your pie pumpkin, too).
Mix the spices in with the pumpkin in the slow cooker, and bake it on low for 6 hours. Open up, take a whiff and a taste, and add more spices or sugar if you desire. It’ll be dense, and no surprise, it tastes a lot like pumpkin pie. 5-STAR PUMPKIN GOLD. Try not to eat it by the spoonful.
Once cooked, I packed mine 1 cup at a time into freezer bags, squeezing out the air and letting it squish flat, just like freezing pesto. As I thaw ones that I’ve already frozen, I try to use the butter within a week’s time so that it doesn’t begin to go bad in the fridge. Perfect on all breakfasty things. Enjoy!