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Pumpkins Galore!

While eating my lunch on Thursday, a friend pointed out that everything I was eating was orange.  I glanced at the array of jars before me (I use mason jars instead of tupperware) and to my surprise, she was right!  I had sweet potato – leek soup, pumpkin custard and pumpkin butter on bread.  But this shouldn’t be surprising of a locavore’s fare.  Just look at this photo I took while out hiking the dogs last weekend – everything in nature right now is a golden orange colour, so it makes sense that food harvested this time of year should be too.

In the past I have struggled with what to do with pumpkin, but this year I can’t seem to get enough of it.  I have already roasted and puréed nearly half a dozen pumpkins and cooked up all of it.  Pumpkin in soup, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin custard, and my latest discovery, pumpkin butter!

Pumpkin butter is a wonderful, sweet spread that provides a delightful change of pace from jam (although I still can’t get enough of the pear-ginger jam I made a few weeks ago!).  This spread has the texture of apple butter, but with a tangy, lemon flavour.  It’s almost like lemon curd.  I can’t really describe the taste, but it sure is yummy.  It’s also a beautiful, bright orange colour and I think will make lovely, novel gifts.  I am going to make a second half-batch to give away, just as soon as I find a few more pumpkins to roast.

Roasting a pumpkin is easy.  I buy pie pumpkins, cut them horizontally in half and scoop out the seeds (which you can clean and roast on a cookie sheet with a little sea salt – yum!).  I then place each half face down in a pyrex dish with about half an inch of water in the bottom.  Place in the oven at around 350-400 until well cooked – a fork should enter easily.  Remove and cool, then scoop out the flesh and process it in a Cuisinart or blender until smooth. One pie pumpkin makes about 4 cups of pumpkin purée, so you will need at least two, possibly three, to make this recipe in full.  Or you can cut the recipe in half:

Pumpkin Butter

– 10 cups cooked pumpkin blended
– Zest and juice of 4 lemons
– Half pound of butter
– 8 cups of sugar (I used 4 cups sugar, 2 cups honey – I would have used all honey, probably 4-5 cups, but we ran out)

Simmer together for about 20 minutes, or until thick.  Do not boil! put into small jars (250ml) and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Makes about 16 jars.


2 Responses

  1. I made this recipe tonight, it’s sublime. I used orange zest instead of lemon, and only had one orange so used some bottled lemon juice. I was expecting a pumpkin pie kind of texture, it’s more like a sweet orange-pumpkin pudding. I used about 2 1/4 c. honey and 2 c sugar and I think it’s plenty sweet.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. And thank you for sharing the idea of making it with orange! I will definitely give that a try – it sounds wonderful!

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