Sunday, October 7, 2012

Easy to Make Pumpkin Butter Recipe

Pumpkin Butter Recipe
This is a perfect fall and winter sweet – pumpkin pie without making the pie.  I first made this over 15 years ago and it has been a favorite ever since.  It’s perfect as a spread or to use for your pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake or any other holiday dessert.
The recipe is large but can easily be cut with excellent results.  I like to make a large batch so I can give some away for Christmas.  My family and friends love it! 
The pumpkin puree can be made from pumpkin or purchased at the grocery store.  Please click here to see how to make pumpkin puree yourself.
Please take note:  Since I started canning pumpkin butter this way many years ago the USDA has revised their recommendations and now advise against this method.  They say that a pumpkin puree (containing sugar or not) is too dense for the heat to reach the center while processing, rendering the product unsafe.  I have NEVER had a problem doing this for all the years I have been canning pumpkin butter, but please BE AWARE that the USDA recommends against this method.
I'm sorry, I don't mean to scare anyone, but I want to be very up front about this.  If you have any concern at all about canning pumpkin butter then freeze it.  It will not affect the taste and still be a great gift.
14 cups (4 - 29 oz cans) Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
6 cups Sugar
3 cups Apple Cider
3 tsp Ground ginger
2 tsp Ground clove
8 tsp Ground cinnamon
4 tsp Ground nutmeg
2 tsp Vanilla
Makes about 24 - ½ pints.
Combine pureed pumpkin, sugar, apple cider, spices and vanilla in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes or until thickened.  Stir frequently. Spices can be adjusted to your taste.

Canning (please note that the USDA has revised their recommendations and now advise against this method – feel free to freeze instead)
Put your thoroughly washed-and-dried Mason jars in a hot water bath - they must be hot when you fill them.  Pull them out and wipe dry with a towel.  You only need to dry the inside. Meanwhile sterilize the lids (don't worry about the bands) in a little pot of simmering water - DO NOT boil them, boiling will ruin the seals and you'll have a heck of a time getting the jars to seal properly.
Fill the jars to ¼ inch from the top with the hot pumpkin mixture.  Then tamp the jar on the counter top several times to try to work out the bubbles.
Tightly twist on lids with bands and place them in the hot water bath (on the rack).
How long do you leave them in there?  I've seen instructions that say as little as 15 minutes but to be honest I usually let them go about an hour.  I've heard of folks who go about three hours and perhaps the longer the better.  There's no way to 'overcook' them, as far as I know. When you feel that they've been boiled enough, pull them out and set them on the counter to cool.  Be sure that each jar seals properly as they cool.
That should do it!  Store your pumpkin butter in a cool place.  When you're ready to use a jar, unscrew the band then gently pop off the lid with a bottle opener.  (If the lid falls off as soon as you remove the band DO NOT EAT THE CONTENTS, it was not properly sealed.)  Inspect the contents carefully; it should smell good and be a reasonable spicy brown color.  If you created the proper vacuum while canning all should be well.

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