I’ll be honest. Pumpkin pie is not exactly my favorite thing in the world. But this Thanksgiving, when my sister pointed to the two-foot tall pumpkin sitting on her porch, I couldn’t resist bringing some home. I ended up with fourteen pounds of pumpkin slices taking up a large portion of my freezer, and absolutely no immediate desire to make it into pumpkin pie. I figured I’d leave it there for a while…
And then came the day when I needed to clean out my freezer. How appropriate that just that week I received a link from a friend on Facebook for a recipe for pumpkin butter. Since both my husband’s and my family are Pennsylvania Dutch enough to have apple butter available at the holidays, the following Saturday I spent the afternoon and evening baking, pureeing, cooking, and eventually, enjoying a very large batch of pumpkin butter. I have to admit – this is SO much better than pumpkin pie!
After defrosting the pumpkin slices, shell and all, in the fridge overnight, I placed the slices in cake pans with a half an inch of water, covered them with foil. and baked them in a 450 degrees oven until the pulp could be scooped out with a spoon. With a fresh pumpkin this should take 45-60 minutes, but my half-thawed pumpkin took almost two hours.
Remove from the oven when soft, and scrape the pulp away from the shell. If you’re working with a jack-o-lantern pumpkin, you’ll want to drain the pulp to remove excess juice. I put the pumpkin in an over-the-sink collander and left it for an hour or two. After draining, puree the pulp in a blender.
Pour the puree into a crockpot, and add:
For every 2 cups of pumpkin puree,
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
I ended up with 8 cups of puree from the 14 pounds of pumpkin I started with, so it was easy to multiply the recipe by 4, and I added a little bit more of the spices since I used a jack-o-lantern pumpkin. Stir the ingredients and cover with either a lid propped up with a wooden spoon, or with a splatter shield to allow the butter to thicken. Cook on high until as thick as desired, 3-5 hours (approximately).
I ended up with about five cups of amazing pumpkin butter. I froze a couple cups in FoodSaver bags for later, and kept the rest in the fridge. I’d suggest spreading pumpkin butter on bread or toast with a little butter, or used as pumpkin pie filling for various desserts. I’m already looking forward to planting pumpkins for next fall!
Posted in: Cooking | Tags: frozen pumpkin, Pennsylvania Dutch food