Lower-Sugar Pumpkin Butter Recipe

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Pumpkin Butter. © Quentin Bacon / Stockford Creative / Getty Images
  • 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 1 pint Pumpkin Butter
Ratings

Even though pumpkins originated in Central America, the seeds found their way back to Eastern Europe where pumpkins quickly became a favorite.

Bulgarians love the roasted seeds and the purée as a filling in pastries like banitzi. Poles love it in pumpkin soup, pumpkin casseroles and pumpkin-sauerkraut muffins.

Pumpkin butter is low in sugar and simple to make, especially if you start with canned pumpkin. It makes a great Saturday-afternoon project with the kids.

Just remember, the National Center for Home Food Preservation says, "Home canning is not recommended for pumpkin butter or any mashed or puréed pumpkin or winter squash."

The only directions for canning pumpkin and winter squash are for cubed pulp. So when you make pumpkin butter, refrigerate and use it within three weeks or freeze it for up to one year, but DO NOT process it in a water bath.

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound pie pumpkin, peeled and cubed or 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (not pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves

How to Make It

  1. Place pumpkin and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the pumpkin has broken down. Strain through a sieve or food mill. If using canned pumpkin, omit this step and pick up below.
     
  2. Combine pumpkin purée with sugar and spices, and choose one of the following cooking methods.
     
  3. After cooking, place hot pumpkin butter in hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Cover with hot sterilized lids and rings.

    Note: The National Center for Home Food Preservation says "Home canning is not recommended for pumpkin butter or any mashed or puréed pumpkin or winter squash." The only directions for canning pumpkin and winter squash are for cubed pulp. So when you make pumpkin butter, refrigerate and use within three weeks or freeze for up to one year, but DO NOT process it in a water bath.

    Cooking Methods for Pumpkin

    • Slow Cooker: Place sweetened pulp in a slow cooker with lid partially off to let steam escape. Set at low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 1/2 hours or overnight, or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.
       
    • Microwave: Place sweetened pulp in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 20 minutes at a time, stirring frequently until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.
       
    • Stovetop: Place sweetened pulp in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 hours or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.
       
    • Oven: Heat oven to 250 degrees. Place sweetened pulp in a heatproof casserole dish or roaster. Bake, stirring only occasionally, for 1 to 3 hours or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.