Maple Sweetened Pumpkin Butter

Written by Marisa of Food in Jars.

This time of year, it is only natural that a home cook’s fancy turns to pumpkin. Between the jack-o-lanterns standing sentinel near your front door and the knobby whole pumpkins you picked up at the farmers’ market over the weekend, your world is probably filled with all things orange and squashy right now.

Thing is, pumpkins are good for so much more than decoration. They can be steamed and pureed into pie filling. For a seasonal meatless main dish, there’s nothing better than roasted pumpkin cubes stirred into sage-spiced risotto, or pumpkin mac & cheese for the little ones.

And then there’s pumpkin butter. It’s delicious on toast, tasty stirred into oatmeal and even good simply eaten by the spoonful out of the jar.

The best pumpkin butters are made from whole, fresh pumpkins (look for one with lots of warts on the outside, they’re an indication of sweetness). Instead of trying to strong arm a knife through its dense flesh while the pumpkin is raw, I plop it down on a foil-covered baking sheet and roast it at 350°F until it has slumped slightly and yields to the tines of a fork.

When the pumpkin has cooled enough to handle, cut it in half (make sure it’s at room temperature as the interior of the pumpkin can hold steam for at least an hour). Pull away the strings and seeds (make sure to save those seeds and roast them for a snack!) and use a spoon to scrape the tender flesh away from the skin.

Heap the pumpkin flesh into a blender or food processor and blend it until it is super smooth. I typically get between 5 and 6 cups of puree from a four-pound pumpkin, but your results will vary depending on the variety of pumpkin you start out with.

Finally, pour the pumpkin puree into a low, wide pan (I like a 12-inch skillet) and cook, stirring regularly, until all the water has been cooked out. Near the end of cooking, stir in spices, a splash of apple cider vinegar and enough maple syrup to make it taste good to you (for a batch this size, I find that 1/2 cup does the job nicely).

You’ll know that your pumpkin butter is finished when a scoop sits high and tall in the bowl of a spoon (if it’s not done, it will run to the edges of the spoon and will be no higher than the rim).

Because pumpkin butter is both low in acid and quite dense, it cannot be canned in either a boiling water bath canner or a pressure canner (commercially canned pumpkin butters and purees are done in facilities that can achieve higher temperatures than is possible in a home kitchen).

However, it keeps in the fridge for two to three weeks and can be frozen for up to a year before use.

Maple Sweetened Pumpkin Butter
4.8 from 5 reviews
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Recipe type: preserve
Author:
Serves/Yield: 1 1/2 pints
Ingredients
  • 1 small pumpkin (4 to 5 pounds)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Wash your pumpkin and prick it with the tip of a knife three or four times. Place the pumpkin on the baking sheet and roast until it slumps and is fork tender.
  2. Once pumpkin is cool, cut it open and remove the strings and seeds. Scrape the flesh from the skin and place it in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.
  3. Place puree in a low, wide skillet or frying pan and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the puree has reduced by approximately half.
  4. Add maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and spices and stir to combine.
  5. Pumpkin butter is done when it sits high in the bowl of a spoon.
  6. Funnel finished butter into fridge or freezer safe containers. It will keep two to three weeks in the fridge, up to a year in the freezer.

 

What’s your favorite way to use pumpkin in your kitchen?

About Marisa

Marisa McClellan is a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated small batch canner who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her jams, pickles and preserves (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her first book, titled Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.

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Comments

  1. This sounds like a great way to use up my pumpkin this year…even last years pumpkin actually. If I already have it pureed, how much puree would you use for this recipe? I assume the 4-5 pounds refers to the size of the pumpkin before you roast it and gut it. ;)

    Thanks for the great idea! I think I will drop off a jar at my local police station and fire station when I make them some other home baked goodies.
    Leanne

  2. My favorite pumpkin recipe, though it’s hard to choose just one, is pumpkin rice pudding. This post is inspiring me to roast a pumpkin. The higher cost of canned pumpkin in Canada doesn’t have to inhibit my pumpkin cravings. I see that now. Thanks!
    Julia’s last post: Batik-Style Pocket Warmers

  3. Wow! This looks absolutely delicious. And how pretty is that pumpkin. Such a lovely color.

    Pinning now. Making later. Yum.
    Stacy @ A Delightful Home’s last post: Healthy Living eBooks Less than $1 Each – For 5 Days Only!

  4. I had no idea the warts on a pumpkin are a sign of sweetness! I always pick the ugly ones because I feel bad that no one else will choose them. Yes, I’m crazy.
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories.’s last post: Ask Casey: The What, Why, and How of Kosher Salt

  5. I too had no idea about the warts on a pumpkin! We love pumpkin butter, and it always makes so sad that it’s not safe to can at home. I recently read that chunks of pumpkin are okay to can in water. What are your thoughts on that?
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies’s last post: Hurricane Sandy and FamilyFun Magazine

  6. Do you have a favorite kind of pumpkin you use? I was guessing a pumpkin pie pumpkin, but your picture looks like a different variety . .

  7. YUM!! I was just talking about pumpkin butter the other day. It’s a sign!!
    Julie’s last post: Roasted Pumpkin Filled with Everything Good

  8. Hmmm…no way to “share” on Facebook?

  9. This looks yummy. I’ve still got 4 pie pumpkins on the counter from my garden and the farm share, and will make a bit to try.
    Right now, my favorite way to use up my roasted pumpkin puree is in muffins!
    kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts’s last post: Eat More Veggies! (Allison’s November Blitz Challenge)

  10. I have made apple butter a thousand times, but never pumpkin butter. I think that needs to be remedied. This recipe looks perfect! And thanks for the wart tip – I had no idea!!
    Allison’s last post: Creamy Pasta Risotto

  11. Making some with a neck pumpkin right now, and sending my husband out tomorrow for Cinderella’s before they’re gone. Trying your recipe for something new…thanks for the pointers!
    Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas’s last post: Easy Homemade Yogurt (Slow Cooker Method)

  12. Warts on pumpkins? Ya learn something new every day. This pumpkin butter is just perfect, Marisa!
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction’s last post: Cake Mix Cookies with Candy Corn M&Ms

  13. I must not have pureed mine enough, looked much thicker than yours. I let it cook down as long as I could stand and it’s quite thick. I’ve never tried a pumpkin butter that I liked, and I love this! I didn’t add allspice or cloves because I didn’t have them. I’m guessing that’s part of the reason I don’t like “commercial” pumpkin butters.
    Jennifer’s last post: Thrift Shopping

  14. Looks amazing I never try to taste this kind…I think I will make some to share with my friends..
    Jackie’s last post: yeast

  15. Wow, I need to try this tomorrow. All those spices go so well with pumpkin. I love everything pumpkin. Thanks for sharing!
    Nancy/SpicieFoodie’s last post: Curry Spiced Potato and Pumpkin Empanadas, Plus My NBC Latino Feature

  16. I love a good pumpkin butter, and what better than maple to pair it with. I didn’t know about the warts, either – I’ll have to keep that in mind! :-)
    Tracy’s last post: Cranberry-Pear Crisp

  17. I dehydrate my pumpkins every year after cooking them in the oven and then when dehydrated I chop the flesh in a blender to a powder. I store in my cupboard in a vacuumed jar. I will have to try this recipe using some of my dehydrated pumpkin..should work. Sounds yummy.. as do all of your recipes..

  18. I’m very late to this game, but I’m wondering why you added the vinegar? How does it affect the final flavor? Thanks. :)

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