Pumpkin butter is a type of fruit butter. Essentially fruit butters are just concentrated, caramelized sauces made from a sweet fruit. The first problem with pumpkin butter is that a pumpkin, while technically a fruit, is not sweet. They have around three times less sugar than your common apple, and because of that people usually just say screw it and dump apple cider in there with the pumpkin and call it a day. Nothing is wrong with that, in fact it’s probably the best way to make it, but then you’re just going to have apple flavored pumpkin butter, also known as apple butter.
You can cook some pumpkin butter with a number of sugary add-ons like apple cider, pureed fresh apples, ginger beer, and using fresh pumpkins, all to be outdone by a $3.75 apple scented jar of pumpkin butter at the grocery store made with the same ingredients.
Basically: unless you have a high power blender and a sweet variety of just picked pumpkins like Sugar or Japanese, you’re probably not going to make anything amazing.
Anyway, here’s a simple recipe that turns out some alright results. It’s versatile stuff, so feel free to tinker with the ingredients to fit your personal tastes. You can also add pureed fruit in place of the apple cider or substitute some sugar with honey, maple syrup, or anything else sweet.
Recipe For Pumpkin Butter
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
3/4 – 1 cup apple cider
1/2 – 3/4 cup granulated or brown sugar or combination of both.
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
dash of lemon juice or pinch of citric acid
1. Combine all ingredients, starting with the low end of apple cider and sugar amounts in a medium pot, stir until combined and taste, adjusting ingredients if wanted.
2. Partially cover pot and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until cooked down and tastes good to you. 15-30 minutes. Stuff with splatter everywhere while cooking so be careful and adjust heat lower if it’s making too much of a mess. Let cool and refrigerate in an airtight container.