Every year we get pumpkins to carve! And every year we set them outside for a few days and then throw these big produce purchases away, uneaten. It seems like such a waste, doesn’t it?

Last year, I had a girlfriend mention to me a way to make those jack-o-lanterns a little more worthwhile: Pumpkin butter! It’s just like apple butter, but with a pumpkin pie taste. It only requires what was scooped out of your pumpkin before carving (yes, those icky stringy bits too!), some sugar, spices, and time.

Pumpkin Butter

This recipe is based on 8 cups of pumpkin flesh and water – adjust appropriately based on the amount you get from your pumpkin(s), and your taste for sweetness.

1. Take all of your jack-o-lantern scoopings, and throw all the stringy bits and assorted pumpkin flesh (seeds and all) into a big bowl.
2. Add just enough water to cover.
3. Dip your clean hands into the bowl and separate out the seeds (easier to do in water, the seeds will often float!)
4. Put the remaining pumpkin bits and water into a large pot.
5. Then add:

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 dash/pinch of ground cloves **
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg **
  • 1 tsp. each: ground ginger, cinnamon, and orange peel (zest) **
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

** Pumpkin pie spice contains most of your necessary spices, so you can use this instead.

6. Cook on med. heat for about an hour until brown in color and slightly thickened.
7. Then blend it smooth. NOTE: The stringy pumpkin fibers may destroy a handheld immersion blender (guess how I learned that!), so it’s best to use a standard kitchen blender.
8. Continue to cook until the texture becomes not as thick as peanut butter, but not thin enough to run (like apple butter). A crockpot can also be used to slowly reduce the mixture down. You could also thicken with cornstarch (mixed in a little water), if desired.

Will keep refrigerated for 1-2 weeks, or frozen for a few months. Let us know how you like it!

This has been a guest post by Amber from St. Johns, AZ
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