This week, I wanted to try something different – pumpkin butter. Seemed easy to me, and since 15 oz cans of pureed pumpkin were on sale this week, I picked up a few.
First, a big, scary hitch while doing some recipe scanning– Home canning is not recommended for pumpkin butter or any mashed or pureed pumpkin or winter squash because the pumpkin is too thick and low in acid and nasty stuff may grow. Damn! There goes my plans to show off my new jam to the family. Then, I read further: “These pumpkin products must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.” Well, that solves that problem since I just won’t make enough to store, just to eat now.
As usual, when cooking for myself and not to sell, I don’t follow a recipe. I found a few recipes for pumpkin butter and then adjusted to my tastes. I never use pectin so I knew I had to add natural pectin – apples. Just happened to have one sitting on the counter ready to go. I peeled it and boiled the peel and core in a little water, strained it and added it (and the cut up pieces of apple) to the pumpkin. Just a little more water, start with a cup of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon, and let the simmering begin.
Now, I have to admit right now that I like my butters sweet. I said I started with a cup of sugar, but I added more as the 30 or so minutes of simmering went along. The butters won’t appear think enough as they cook; it’s only after they cool down will they have that velvety, thick, spreadable consistency that makes a luscious butter.
Never happy to make something simple, I took out some of the pumpkin butter and mixed it in another pan with some frozen blueberries and apricot jam and let that simmer a bit. Wow!