Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cushaw Pumpkin Butter

Yesterday I decided to try a new thing with the frozen cushaw puree I still have in the freezer from 2010. I made a batch of pumpkin butter with some of it. I based it off of this recipe, with only a few tweaks. I added some more spices, since pumpkin pie spice usually contains ginger and allspice in addition to cinnamon and nutmeg, so I added a half teaspoon of each of those spices as well. I used a cup of brown sugar and only two tablespoons of maple syrup to sweeten it, mainly because that's the all the maple syrup I had left! Of course, I only use real maple syrup, not that artificially maple- flavored high fructose corn syrup, and using the full quarter cup the recipe called for probably would have been even more yummy. I used a pinch of kosher salt instead of sea salt, since that's my default salt. Lastly, I cooked it a lot longer than the recipe called for. The recipe said you only need to cook it for 10 minutes, which seems way too short. Maybe it depends on how high your heat is and how watery your squash started out.

The tip to keep a lid on with a wooden spoon sticking out was very helpful. Once the stuff starts cooking it bloops everywhere, and if a drop of it hits you in the arm, it hurts! I put it on the stove on low enough heat so it was gently blooping and blubbing... and then I ended up letting it do that for a full two hours. I went to work on potting up some more transplants, and came back about every ten minutes to take it off the heat and give it a good stir. The point is to get the pumpkin to a thick, spreadable consistency. I'm sure it's possible to burn this stuff, so I kept it on low heat and made sure to check on it often, and that seemed to work just fine.

After two hours this is the result. When I stirred it, it mostly kept its shape. A blob put on a plate didn't leak out any liquid around the edges. It also made my house smell wonderful!

There is some controversy over whether you can safely can pumpkin butter. The USDA says absolutely not, but I found plenty of blogs saying they can it all the time and nobody's gotten botulism yet. Well, I decided not to take my chances anyway, and ended up packaging it in Ball freezer jam jars. I ended up filling 5 jars all the way, and a 6th one about halfway full. The halfway full one went in the fridge, and the rest went in the freezer.

And here is the completely cooled butter being put to the test on some ciabatta toast. As you can see it's thick enough to be spread with a knife, so I guess that means I cooked it long enough. It was tasty too! I bet this would also be good on a hearty whole grain bread, or English muffins, or pancakes, or oatmeal, or ice cream, whatever!

So that used up two more containers of cushaw puree. I still have 11 more left in the freezer! I guess I won't have to grow any more pumpkin/winter squash in 2013 either.

Pumpkin (or winter squash) Butter
  • 4 1/2 cups roasted and pureed cushaw squash (or whatever winter squash or pumpkin you have)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp real maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
Mix everything together in a medium saucepan and put on low to medium-low, just so the mixture gently simmers/boils. Cover with a lid propped up with a wooden spoon to protect from splatters. Stir well every ten minutes or so to keep the bottom from burning, and cook for an hour or two, until the butter is as thick as you'd like. Keep in the refrigerator or freeze for longer term storage.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe there weren't any comments assnd this was posted in 2012. My mammaw taught me how y o make this recipe probably 40 years ago. It was and is are special treat food. We will be enjoying it on Christmas morning. 2LadyHomesteaders on YouTube.