I'm not gonna lie, I have... a thing for pumpkin. I think it has to do with the fact that where I come from, pumpkins symbolize cool, crisp air, the smell of autumn leaves, bonfires, hayrides, and
warm cinnamon donuts
apple cider. I love baking with pumpkin and the spices that go so well with it - nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and my favorite, cinnamon.
Pumpkin is definitely one of my comfort foods. To me it means family, hugs, warm cozy houses, and evenings by the fireplace. So... you can imagine I have been in my starting block here, ready for the proverbial gun shot, signaling that Fall is upon us.
This weekend all signs pointed to go, so I grabbed a few baking pumpkins from my local Trader Joe's, threw on a sweatshirt and my fury UGG slippers for the first time since arriving in California, and hit the kitchen.
First on the list, pumpkin butter. I went to work on this, while Ryan made his version of Great Harvest High 5 Fiber bread
, which IS DELISH, and goes oh so perfect with my butta, but I'm getting ahead of myself. ;-)
Pumpkin Butter Ingredients
What is pumpkin butter really? Typically it is pumpkin puree, sugar, and spices basically just reduced. You know I had to add the healthy twist. Here is my version.
- 4 cups pumpkin puree (yielded from 2 small 4-6" baking pumpkins)
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp stevia or agave (to taste... some people, i.e. me, like things sweeter, you may prefer less)
To Roast the Pumpkin
We're pulling all the stops here, no cans allowed. Making pumpkin puree is super easy, it just takes a little time. I use pie pumpkins, which are the smaller (6" diameter or less) size pumpkins, because they are sweeter and less grainy than the larger variety.
Heat the oven to 350° F.
For this recipe, you will need two of the small 4-6” diameter size pumpkins. Wash the exterior, cut them in half, and remove the seeds and stringy stuff. I put the seeds into a small bowl so that I could bake them (see pumpkin seed recipe at the bottom of this article
Lay the pumpkin cut side down on a baking sheet covered in tin foil (spray the foil with olive oil or wipe it with a dab of coconut oil
on a paper towel). Place into the oven and bake for 1-1/2 hours. Remove from oven and allow them to cool so that you can handle them.
Pumpkin Butter Directions
Scoop out the roasted pumpkin and place 4 cups into mixing bowl (I use my stand mixer). Add the apple cider, spices, and stevia and mix until incorporated.
Place into a medium size sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring often. Mixture will thicken and reduce. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Store in an airtight container in the frig (or you may can it, if you are into canning). Serve over waffles, pancakes, on toast, oatmeal, yogurt, frozen yogurt, I could go on and on...