Thursday, October 18, 2012

Vanilla-Pumpkin Butter {October #Unprocessed}

This weekend I am co-hosting a baby shower for a friend who is expecting twins. So, in keeping with the season, we settled on "A Pair of Pumpkins" as our theme. One gal is in charge of the festivities and dessert; another is taking care of the logistics, drinks, and favors. I am in charge of the food. And the cooking begins...with pumpkin butter.

With my recent vanilla obsession in full-swing and the critique from my three boys that my last batch of pumpkin butter was too heavy on the cloves, I decided to lighten up the flavors in this batch by skipping the cloves and adding vanilla. I also - for October #Unprocessed - went with raw turbinado sugar.

I love that this is light on the sugar, heavy on the spices, and so, so easy to make. This does not yield a smooth butter; I like mine rustic, with small chunks of pumpkin. If you want it store-bought smooth, press the pumpkin through a sieve before you start.

6 C pumpkin puree
1/2 C water
1 C raw turbinado sugar
ground cinnamon
ground nutmeg
caviar from one vanilla bean
1 T pure vanilla extract
2 T maple syrup

Place the pumpkin, water, and sugar in a large, flat-bottom pan. Bring to a simmer. As you cook, mash the pumpkin with a potato masher. Add in the spices - to your tastes.

Cook and mash until it's to the consistency that you like. Stir in the maple syrup. And spoon into sterilized jars. Process in a water bath to seal. Or refrigerate and use within three weeks without processing.

You'll see this on one of the appetizers I'm making. Stay tuned!

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