Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pumpkin butter

YUMMY!! I finally harvested my only surviving pumpkin. My good friend Leslie had emailed me a recipe for pumpkin butter, and I had to try it out. My-oh-my. If you like spiced pumpkin, you absolutely have to try this. I have not gotten good at taking pictures as I go along, so I only have a few. Here is the pumpkin before it went into the oven. I wiped off the outside with a wet cloth, and the baked it in the oven at 300 degrees for an hour or so. When it is done, you should be able to puncture it with a fork like you do potatos. You will want to bake it on some kind of pan, because it gets really soft. Then you let it cool. I actually left mine in the refrigerator just like that overnight until I could process it the next day. When it is cool enough to handle, cut it open and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Cut it into chucks and peel the outside off with a knife.

Once you have it all chunked up, put it in a food processor and puree the heck out of it. Add water a little at a time if you need to. It will be a nice smooth consistency. You will probably have to do several batches of this to get all of your pumpkin done. Once it is all pureed up, you add the spices. You will want to add them all to your taste. I will give general amounts, you can add more or less. Here you go:

6 to 19 cups homemade pumpkin

1 - 1 & 1/2 cups sugar

3 - 4 teaspoons cinnamon

1 - 3 teaspoons nutmeg

1 - 2 teaspoons clover and ginger

1 & 1/2 teaspoons allspice

water to desired consistency

Now, here's what I did. I only had 4 cups of puree, so I didn't use as much spice as the recipe calls for. I didn't use any allspice, because I don't have any, but I used all of the other spices. I can't remember the amounts I used, though. You pretty much can't mess it up unless you go overboard on the spice, but then you can always add more sugar=) Do be careful that when you are done with this part, it is watery enough but not too watery. I added too much, and mine is runny. Now, put all of this in a crock pot, and cook it until it reaches the consistency you like, all day or all night. Eat some of it warm (it's delectable, I'm telling you), and put the rest in the fridge.
I had a picture of what I ended up with, but I just deleated it, so there goes that. I had 4 smallish jars. I have one in the fridge, and I put the rest in the freezer when they cooled.

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