Jewels: Tis the season for warm family gatherings, and fabulous holiday soirees, but are you ready? I don’t like showing up to parties empty handed, but I’m not big on obligatory bottles of wine and boxes of chocolates either. I prefer something more unusual or unique. Member Ruthee MacDonald cleverly applied the same principals of the Personal Chef Approach™ she uses for fabulous make-ahead dinners for make-ahead holiday gift giving this year, when she decided to make homemade pumpkin butter, YUM!
Ruthee: I am not a cook by nature. I toss things in a pot and hope for the best, but since Julie Anne brought PCA™ to my little kitchen via her blog, things have never been the same! In one of my less sane moments, we all have them, I decided it was just the right time to make some pumpkin butter. Recipes for this wonderful toast topping treat are abundant so look through them and decide which one appeals to you. The one I chose utilizes a slow cooker which is great for me since standing at the stove and stirring for an hour or more would be too painful.
Deciding that making pumpkin butter at night seemed like the sensible thing to so. That way it would cook while I slept and I could get the bottles and lids ready once I got up and then bottle up the goods. Dumping the pumpkin puree into the crock pot made that satisfying plopping sound that we all enjoy. Admit it, when you open a can of a certain soup, you turn the can upside down and watch delightedly as the contents slide out of the tin and plop into the pan. Well after the pumpkin hit the slow cooker, it was time to add the honey, ginger, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Although the recipe did not call for it, I added about a cup of apple juice and stirred up the brew. The aroma was already heavenly,
imagine how my flat smells after leaving it to cook on low for 7 hours. In retrospect, I would probably advise you to check at the 6th hour just to see how things are progressing. I think 6 hours would be sufficient based on making up 2 batches. If you find that the butter is watery, then leave the lid off of the slow cooker and cook for another hour. I found when I looked after 7 hours that I had to add some more liquid to thin it out a bit. Also, check your seasoning at this point – I wanted to add a little more honey. I am actually thinking of doing a batch using brown sugar just to see how it tastes. That is the joy of this recipe, tinker with it until you get the taste and consistency you like most.
I ran the 8 ounce jars through the dishwasher and then again ran them through a hot water bath before putting the contents into the containers. Also, I not only ran the lids through the dishwasher, I put them in a pot and boiled them for ten minutes before capping the jars. Beware, the jars get really hot, so wearing some kind of protection while working with them is wise.Wipe the jars tops carefully, removing any of the butter that might have landed on that area. Any of the contents left on the lid will prevent a proper seal from forming once you cap them. This particular recipe produced seven scrumptious one cup jars of pumpkin butter.
I definitely would encourage you to try making some pumpkin butter to enjoy on your toast or like I use it, in my bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Talk about making oatmeal a treat! Or, as fellow member Rachel likes to say “Holy Moses, smell the roses, that was good.” My sentiments exactly!
What’s next? I hope to tinker with the pumpkin to make a filling for ravioli and use coconut milk infused with spices and a bit of curry as the sauce. I’ll let you know how that works out. Also, I hope to play around and make a marinade or sauce to spread on chicken or fish. I suspect that adding Indian masala spices will add the savoury note that I’m hoping to achieve.
Let me know if you try this out! I’d love to hear if you love pumpkin butter as much as I do. The original recipe I used came from Gluten Free Easily. As you can see, this is a delicious gluten free pumpkin butter, but the recipe on Stephanie-au.com looks tantalizing as well. Enjoy!
Jewels: For those of you who don’t already know, Ruthee is a very talented artist, so it’s really exciting for me to watch her spread her culinary wings, and experiment in painting with flavor! Like Ruthee, many people find they enjoy cooking so much more when they do not have to do it daily. Join the PCA™ to learn more about how you can simplify your life immensely, and have fun doing it too!
So what culinary masterpieces will you whip up for holiday hostess and gift giving this year?