Autumn has arrived and with it comes the changing of colors, cozy sweaters, and my favorite treat: pumpkin butter. Lattes, breakfasts, salads, entrees, desserts, and snacks are dramatically improved by this pumpkin butter. The name pumpkin butter is slightly deceiving, since it doesn't actually contain butter, nor is it the consistency of butter. More like apple sauce, it is a simmered mixture of pumpkin puree, spices, and sugar. The end result is a crave-able sweet spread that will soon be your favorite condiment.
When your award-winning pumpkin butter is complete, slather it on pancakes, toast, scones, and waffles, or spread it over roasted veggies. It also tastes good in risotto or on grilled chicken or fish. It is my go-to hostess gift for the holidays. I purchase a set of glass bottles, festive string, and colorful labels and voila, a homemade gift.
Spice blends can vary, but most are a standard mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. Sugars also vary, but my favorite blend is brown sugar and maple syrup, for an earthy and rustic sweetness. Some prepare pumpkin butter in a slow cooker but, in all honesty, a saucepan on simmer will do the trick in just an hour. While I prefer my pumpkin butter to have some body, others want a smooth consistency achieved by a quick whirl in the food processor.
Yields: 2-1/2 cups