Pumpkin Butter Recipe Using Fresh Pumpkin
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Have you ever had pumpkin butter before?
It is probably my favorite fruit butter (remember pumpkins are fruits) with apple butter being a close second. I’m not entirely sure why but fruit butters always remind me of fall and winter. The great thing about any fruit butter is that they are pretty straightforward to make and really easy. And since it is October, the month of pumpkins, I thought this would be the perfect time to show you my favorite pumpkin butter recipe using fresh pumpkin.
Now, you can go get a can of pumpkin from the grocery store and that’ll save you some time especially if you don’t have any pumpkin on hand. But it’s just not as good as using fresh pumpkin and baking pumpkin is not difficult (and you do get those awesome pumpkin seeds to roast too).
If you’re not familiar with what pumpkin to choose (it isn’t the same one you carve for Halloween) or the cooking process, I’ve got a post on how to cook pumpkin that might help. And now is the perfect time to try since pumpkins are everywhere. The extra time you spend baking fresh pumpkin will be worth it as this is the best pumpkin butter recipe I have put together yet. It’s so good that the sugar is optional!
How to Make Pumpkin Butter
There are a few things you’ll need to start making pumpkin butter at home. You’ll need either a blender or food processor. You could try to do this with a hand masher but it’ll come out lumpy which is fine for jam but not for butter. Second, you’ll need a saucepan that can fit about 4-5 cups with a little head space and a lid as this is going to get messy but that’s optional.
Most pumpkin butter recipes call for using only pumpkin but I have found the best pumpkin butter also has a little apple. It’s a great natural way to add sweetness to the pumpkin and it allows you to either entirely omit any sugar or significantly reduce how much you put in. In fact, I tend to split my batch in half so part of it will be sugar-free which is great if you have young children.
If you have followed any of my other posts, you know I’m trying to keep sugar away from my 16-month-old daughter. This recipe works out great for her and she loves it! I mix it in her oatmeal, put it on toast with nut butter, and mix it in other purees to give her food some extra flavor. The funny thing is I prefer to eat the pumpkin butter without any added sugar over the batch with sugar for almost everything but a sandwich. By this point, I’m really only adding the extra sugar for my partner. But now I am digressing here.
Now, I know some people are going to flip their biscuit when I say this but I’ve found the sweet varieties of apples (Fuji, Gala, etc.) work better for this than Granny Smith but you can use either one.
The real trick with any fruit butter is how fast you cook it. These things can’t be rushed and in that process, it requires some babysitting. Because of that, you want to keep your burner no higher than a medium heat so the sugar doesn’t burn and you’ll be stirring rather frequently too so you can’t really walk away too far.
The times will vary depending on your heat and desired thickness but I like to leave my butter cooking until it is so thick that it is the consistency of Greek yogurt. The best way to check it is to turn off the heat and let it sit of about 5-10 minutes without stirring. If there is a lot of liquid separating from the puree, then it needs to reduce further. I have found that my butter is ready in about 20-25 minutes.
The last thing I think that is important to mention is the taste of the butter really needs to sit overnight. The way that it tastes while warm and just off the stove isn’t going to be how it tastes tomorrow. I’ve made the mistake in the past thinking there wasn’t enough seasonings or sweeteners in it and added more only to have the butter the next day come out inedible.
But that’s really all there is to it! Not too bad, right?
This is the best pumpkin butter recipe! This recipe uses fresh pumpkin but it can also be made using canned. It tastes great as is or without any additional sweetener.
- 1 cup apple, cubed (about 1 medium)
- 3 cups pumpkin
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup coconut sugar (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 tsp. ginger, ground
- 1/2 tsp. allspice, ground
- 1/4 tsp. clove, ground
- 1/4 tsp. mace, ground
In the saucepan, cook the apple and apple juice on a medium-high heat until apple is soft (about 10 minutes).
Place apple and juice in the blender (or food processor) with pumpkin, and spices and blend on high until smooth.
Pour everything back in the saucepan.
Add the coconut sugar and mix well.
Cook uncovered (or with the lid cracked enough to let out steam) on a medium heat for about 20-25 minutes until the butter is thick with very little to no liquid separation. It should be the consistency of greek yogurt.
Once cooled, pour into jars or other fridge and freezer safe containers. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or freeze for up to a year.
If you want a sugar-free version, omit coconut sugar.
Calorie count is based on 1 tablespoon of pumpkin butter.
So what can you use pumpkin butter for?
It’s not just for sandwiches even though a good peanut and pumpkin butter sandwich is out of this world! But I also put it in smoothies, oatmeal, on top of ice cream, and in my yogurt just for starters.
I really hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does! If you have any questions or feedback on how this recipe worked for you, I’d love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below and I’ll usually reply back within 24 hours.