Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Apple and Pumpkin Butters



In a previous life, long before online selling, I made jams and jellies and sold them to speciality food stores. My all time favorites that I still make are apple butter and apple pie jam. Apple butter takes hours of prep time and cooking. Apple pie jam is a breeze because you don’t have to peel, cut, simmer, rice, and simmer again. All you do is peel the apples, cut them up into small pieces, throw them in a pot with water, and simmer until they are soft but still have bits of pieces of apple left. Add sugar and simmer until it’s jelly-like. At this point, you have the option of safely canning or just throwing it in the fridge and eating it soon. My family eats it within a week, so there is never an issue with nasty growing things.

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!

17 comments:

  1. YUM!!! Love the alternative add-ins to boost the flavor!!! I so wish I could cook!!!!

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    1. And I so wish I could create beautiful jewelry!!!! I have bought all the tools of the trade over the years but they all sit in a box in the closet. Maybe my next blog posts will be about learning to bead...

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  2. These different butters sound interesting. I'm always leery to try new things though...

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  3. Wow, you are a artist in the kitchen! Bravo!

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  4. That apple pie jam sounds fantastic. I do the same kind of jam making... small batches of fresh fruit and eat it right away...or give it away with instructions to eat right away. Yum!

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  5. sounds yummy! enjoy! nothing like homemade jams, jellies & butters.. :)

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  6. Your pumpkin butter sounds delicious. I've only ever made strawberry jam for the freezer. I made some with just sweetened berries that we use as daquari mix all winter long :)
    Amy

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  7. i love pumpkin! AS A VEGETABLE! hehe. you Americans and your sweet pumpkins......shaking my head!

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  8. Mmmm, these sound sooo good. I've had apple butter before, but not pumpkin. I need to try it!

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  9. Sounds delicious! I'm always amazed by those who can be so creative with recipes!! It sounds like it turned out good!

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  10. Sounds wonderful!! I'm not a great cook so I admire those that can just experiment and have it turn out delicious!!

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