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Pumpkin Butter Recipe

Even though pumpkins originated in Central America, the seeds found their way back to Eastern Europe where pumpkins quickly became a favorite. Bulgarians love the roasted seeds and the puree as a filling in pastries like banitzi. Poles love it in soup and pumpkin-sauerkraut muffins.

Pumpkin butter, as all fruit butters are, is low in sugar and simple to make, especially if you use canned pumpkin! It makes a great Saturday-afternoon project with the kids.

Makes 1 pint Pumpkin Butter

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours



Ingredients:

* 1 pound pie pumpkin, peeled and cubed or 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (not pie mix)
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 to 1 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1/8 teaspoon cloves


Preparation:

Place pumpkin and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the pumpkin has broken down. Strain through a sieve or food mill. If using canned pumpkin, omit this step and pick up below.

Combine pumpkin puree with sugar and spices, and choose one of the following cooking methods.

* Slow Cooker: Place sweetened pulp in a slow cooker with lid partially off to let steam escape. Set at low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-12 hours or overnight, or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.

* Microwave: Place sweetened pulp in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 20 minutes at a time, stirring frequently until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.

* Stovetop: Place sweetened pulp in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 1-2 hours or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.

* Oven: Heat oven to 250 degrees. Place sweetened pulp in a heatproof casserole dish or roaster. Bake, stirring only occasionally, for 1-3 hours or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down.


Place hot butter in hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Cover with hot sterilized lids and rings. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove to counter and allow to cool before storing in a cool, dry, dark place.

If you don't process in a water bath, the butter can be kept refrigerated for up to three weeks or frozen for up to one year.




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