Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pumpkin Butter

I'm going to keep this short and sweet.  It is the week of Thanksgiving after all!!  There are pies to be made and pants to let out.  Turkeys to brine and wine to be drunk!  And I cannot wait!  Thanksgiving is, hands down, in my humble opinion, the absolute best holiday that ever was.  It is about being with family, making and then consuming gargantuan amounts of yummy food, and then finding some time before passing out on the couch for a nap or settling into a marathon game of Monopoly or Settlers of Catan, to think about all the things you are truly thankful for in your life.  There's just not a holiday out there that can top that.  

So, here is my offering for those few days after Thanksgiving when you are still overloaded with leftover turkey but feeling to fat to make anything really hearty, yet still craving something warm and homey because, goodness people, it's getting cold out there!  Pumpkin butter.  You can use that leftover pumpkin puree you had from all those pies and slather it over leftover biscuits or some crusty bread.  Stir it into some oatmeal for a warming breakfast.  Swirl some into Greek yogurt for a light dessert.  And enjoy it as your house fills up with the aroma of those cold weather spices.  And it may be a little early, but...  

Pumpkin Butter

Most of the time this takes the pumpkin is bubbling away on the stove, but don't go too far, you'll have to stir frequently.  The pumpkin is rather thick and sometimes steam gets trapped inside and pops pumpkin everywhere.  The more you stir the less mess you'll have to clean up afterwards!  Also, I was a little heavy handed with the spice, so expect a very spiced outcome or dial it back a little.  This exactly filled one Smuckers Strawberry Preserve jar perfectly.

1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/3 c. apple juice
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground clove
9 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Lemon juice, to taste

Combine all ingredients, except for lemon juice, in large saucepan.  Stir together until thoroughly mixed.  Over medium high heat, bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer 30 to 40 minutes.  Stir very frequently and taste frequently.  Adjust spice to taste (remember, you can always add more, but you can't take it back if you add too much!!)  Near the end, stir in lemon juice to taste.

Cool mixture and transfer to an airtight container Keep refrigerated.  Spread on everything!

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