PUMPKIN BUTTER

Researching a story on pumpkin everything, I was reminded about good, old-fashioned pumpkin butter. It’s delicious on hot biscuits and pecan waffles, and I realize I haven’t noticed it around much lately. I asked the Doves Nest in Waxahachie to share its recipe for the story, and for my own purposes here, I fiddled with that just a smidge, adding a little molasses and increasing the seasonings a little. What I love about this is that it’s not very sweet, so it’s great as a condiment to smoked pork chops or roasted pork tenderloin. And if you’re vegan, it’s perfect —there’s no real butter in this at all! It makes a terrific gift at the holidays, too. Just spoon into jars and tie on some twine with a little note that says to keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Makes 4 cups

1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup molasses

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspooon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low, allowing to gently simmer for 20 minutes so the mixture caramelizes and turns a darker rust color. Stir every 2 minutes to keep from sticking. The finished pumpkin butter should be thick and shiny. Cool and transfer to 8-ounce jars. This keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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