Thursday, October 17, 2013

fall flavor: pumpkin butter from scratch

I think I have decided my favourite season is Fall. The promise of cooler weather means I can rummage through a closet otherwise unnoticed the rest of the year. Inside I find my chunky soft grey sweater  with big wooden buttons, my chocolate brown turtle neck, heavier black cardigans & the coziest green sweater I've ever felt...I think it's made from a cloud. I pull out all my scarves & mittens & start wearing them immediately! I live in Florida where it's still 80º outside, but on September 22 when my calendar declared Fall Equinox, I listened. 

No matter what the weather pitter-pattering at your door is doing, one way we all can embrace Fall is with a menu shift. Slide into an autumn harvest with hearty casseroles, warm soups & stews & let us not forget... pumpkin everything! What matters is what is in your heart, so if leaves are swirling around you in a cool breeze for real or make-believe (Hello, Florida!) embrace fall, throw on a scarf & let's get cooking! 

Made with Love; Pumpkin Butter

three (3) pie pumpkins, approximatly  2lbs. each
six (6) cups water
two (2) cups white sugar
two (2) teaspoons cinnamon
half (1/2) teaspoon clove
half (1/2) teaspoon nutmeg
the juice of one (1) lemon

I am happy to report this is an easy-peesy recipe! Everything can be measured by a pinch, dash or splash, I promise!

Set your oven to 350º.
Begin by washing your pumpkins in warm water.
Find a knife you trust (you know the ones that will prick you!)

Slice your pumpkins in half.

Use a good spoon with a sturdy handle to scoop the bits (seeds & all) into a colander & set aside.

Once your pumpkins are cleaned thoroughly.
Use a pan or two to hold your pumpkins.
Place them open side up.

Once arranged, fill pan with 3 cups of water (this is important so your pumpkins stay moist!).
Bake for 30 minutes at 350º.
Check that there is still water in the pan(s), if not add one cup to each pan.
Bake for an additional 30 minutes at 350º, pumpkin should be very tender at this point.
Once baked take your favourite pot holder & pull the pans out of the oven.
Scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin in large chunks,  leaving the shell behind.

Next use a hand masher, food processor, blender or mixer to purée your pumpkin.

Transfer to your Crock-Pot with a measuring cup, you should have approximately 6 cups of purée.
Sprinkle in the 2 cups of sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of clove, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg.
Add the juice of one lemon.
Cook on low for four hours until golden brown.


I'll be back tomorrow to share three pumpkin seed recipes; sweet, salty & spicy! Rinse your seeds, removing all bits of pumpkin & I'll see you tomorrow!

Not only will you experience the satisfaction of making something from scratch that is so delicious your whole family yells for toast with pumpkin butter at once (Yes, even your 13 year old will eat it!) but your house will also smell like Heaven!

 It's just another everyday, holiday with Jillie

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