I grew up outside of Philadelphia, about an hour from Lancaster, PA, also known as “Amish Country.” My family would make trips out to Lancaster to sample delicious apple pies, look at beautiful handcrafted furniture, and best of all, get some apple butter! We would put it on all kinds of breakfast treats like bagels and English Muffins. So when I saw a recipe for pumpkin butter in Vegetarian Times I was sold! I made a few adaptions, as their’s called for so much sugar! I wanted a lighter treat to share with Irving, who doesn’t have a sweet tooth, and David, who doesn’t need to develop his! This was just perfect. I served it on toast for David, bagels for Irving and I, and directly off the spoon as well! I think it will be great in sandwiches too! Try it and tell me what your favorite use is!
1 c brown sugar
1/3 c water
2 ½ c pumpkin puree (canned is ok, but make your own, its so easy! Instructions below.)
2 T lemon juice
Put brown sugar in a medium sauce pan and add water. Heat until sugar dissolves and let bubble for about 7 minutes. It will darken quite a bit (the sugar I used was a darker brown sugar to begin with). Turn off heat and add pumpkin and lemon juice. The mixture will sizzle when the pumpkin hits the pan. Stir well and turn heat back on, bringing the mixture to a bubble again. Some of the sugar may harden a bit when it cooled while adding the pumpkin, but it will melt right back in. Be careful because the bubbling pumpkin mixture “pops” a bit—stand back while stirring (as if that were easy to do!). After about 5 minutes remove from heat. Let cool for a minute and then transfer into storage containers. I divided mine up into 3 smaller portions (either in small jars, or half way filled larger jars—since there are no preservatives, and I’m not a canner (yet) I chose to do small containers and freeze them). This is delicious spread on a bagel, toast, in a sandwich, on a spoon—you get the idea.
Pumpkin puree is so easy to make—there really are no excuses! Ok, yes, I know, time, but this is something that can easily be done while doing other things in the kitchen, or even around the house. Start by carefully cutting pumpkins in half, horizontally (one half with have a stem, the other won’t).
Scoop out all seeds and fibrous bits. Place cut side down on parchment lined baking sheet. Place in oven, preheated to 350/375. Roast for 30-45 minutes, until pumpkin is soft to touch. Let cool and then scoop all flesh out of skin. Mine was still tough in places so I put the whole bowl of pumpkin flesh in the microwave for 5 minutes. Transfer pumpkin to food processor and blend, adding ½ c water as needed to get a smooth consistency. I did 4 pumpkins at once, although I forgot to measure them. They were about 8 inches tall each. I put the extra pumpkin into containers, measured out into portions that I knew I needed for upcoming meals and put the rest in a larger containers. This took me just an hour and a half (mostly inactive time) and now I’m set for pumpkin puree for a while—at least 5 recipes!