Monday, November 22, 2010

Pumpkin Butter

I am finally on Thanksgiving break! It feels so nice not to go to class... I'm ignoring the pile of work in front of me and am instead taking time off to knit, cook, and play piano for hours and hours. I came back home yesterday afternoon after a 5.5-hour drive. I met my dad halfway because it's my first time driving such a long distance by myself that my parents thought it'd be best. I survived!

The first thing that one of my housemates did as soon as break started was make Pumpkin Pie. The house smelled fantastic that day. She had a bit of pumpkin puree left and I thought of making pasta sauce with it, but then my housemate suggested pumpkin butter, which is a great idea, so I instantly went to the one recipe I have bookmarked. I've never had "properly made" Pumpkin Butter, so I don't know what it's really supposed to taste like, but what resulted was still tasty. Not a big fan of pumpkin by itself, but with all the spices and sugar, I didn't mind it so much. I love the darkness that the brown sugar adds as soon as it touches the pumpkin puree and the smell that the spices add. Mmm.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I still haven't finalized the dinner menu. I think I definitely want to try brining a turkey this year. I definitely know what stuffing I'm making and that we are going to have sweet potatoes. Now, green beans, yes or no? And this is crazy but I haven't even thought about the dessert! Okay, obviously, I've got lots of work to do here. Anyway, can't wait to share the recipes with you. What are you planning to make for Thanksgiving dinner?

Pumpkin Butter
From Smitten Kitchen

- 29-oz can pumpkin puree [approx. 3 1/2 cups]
- 3/4 cup apple juice [I've read somewhere else that water is fine too]
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- Juice of half a lemon

1. Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil.
2. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to taste. Stir in lemon juice, or more to taste.
3. Once cool, pumpkin butter can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
4. To preserve: Spoon hot pumpkin mixture into hot jars, filling to within 1/4 inch from top. Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Butter

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