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My Simple & Delicious Pumpkin Butter RecipeJump to Recipe
Looking for a unique way to use up some extra pumpkins? Had a vine more productive than expected? Find a good deal on squash after Halloween? Or has the colder weather given you a craving for a rich and delicious way to top your toast and pair a PSL?
Then this pumpkin butter recipe may be just what you’re looking for!
How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Butter
After an unidentified squash seedling took root in our tomato bed this summer, we decided to just watch and see what would happen with it. For a few week, the little plant stayed small. The little rounded seedling leaves gave way to broad, dark green leaves with jagged edges. Before long, small tendrils sprouted from the main stem.
Before we knew what had happened, the unidentified vine had taken over the entire raised bed. Yellow blossoms seemed to peek out from under every leaf. The tomato plants were shaded out by this uninvited roommate. As the blossoms matured, the outrageous growth made a bit more sense. We were growing a massive pumpkin vine!
When the first frost finally struck our garden on October 23rd, I harvested more than 3 dozen teeny, tiny pumpkins from the lone pumpkin vine. They were delightfully, adorably tiny. But what the heck could I do with them?
After letting them take up a generous portion of my kitchen closet for a month and a half, I’d finally found inspiration in a Facebook canning group: Pumpkin Butter.
What follows is a basic overview of the process, as well as some canning directions. I will warn you ahead of time- I didn’t take the best notes while I put this together. It’s more of a process, free to adjust to the whims of your tastes and preferences- trust yourself and have some fun with it.
The Pumpkin Butter Recipe (Process):
Pumpkins (any variety)
Ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg
Optional: sugar, water, salt, vanilla
You’ll also need some canning jars, a jar lifter, canning funnel & a pressure canner (like my trusty Presto 23 quart, available here)
Step 1: Roast your pumpkin(s). I used a few dozen tiny pumpkins for this batch. They roasted at 350* for about half an hour.
Step 2: Scoop out the cooked pumpkin. Discard the seeds and skins. (Great for compost!)
Step 3: Blend pumpkin (optional). Combine chunks of pumpkin and water as needed to get a smooth and even texture. This step can be skipped, but blending will speed up the cooking/thickening process.
Step 4: In a large saucepan combine pumpkin chunks (or blended pumpkin), cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice to taste.
Step 5: Let pumpkin and spices cook at medium to low heat. Add sugar to reach desired sweetness (if necessary) and water to reach desired consistency. For this batch (14 pint jars) I used 6 cups of water, 3 cups of sugar, and a dash each of vanilla extract and salt.
Step 6: Once the pumpkin butter is heated through and has cooked down to your desired consistency, it’s time to can it. (You can find more in depth canning directions in this post and this post) Start by ladling the mixture into clean jars and top with a clean lid and ring.
Step 7: Process pints for 45 minutes at pressure required for your elevation.
Step 8: After 12-24 hours, check the seals on your jars. Store, gift, use as you please.
This pumpkin butter is delicious on toast or mixed into yogurt. It’s also a good substitute for applesauce, apple butter, or other fruit purees in baked goods. After having such a successful pumpkin harvest this year, I’ll be making sure to grow more pumpkins next season so we can keep a good supply of pumpkin butter in the larder. Give this recipe a shot- I’m sure you’ll be glad you did too.
Pumpkin Butter Recipe + Canning Directions
- Large pot, roasting pan
- Spoons, spatulas, measuring cups
- Blender, food processor, or immersion blender
- Pressure cooker or canner
- Canning funnel, jar lifter
- Jars, rings, lids
- Several Pounds Pumpkins- Any Variety or Size Homegrown or Store-bought
- Sugar, Brown Sugar To Taste (A few cups)
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Vanilla, Salt To Taste (A few tsp each)
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Arrange pumpkins on the roasting pan in a single layer. If using large pumpkins, it may be easier to cut them in half before roasting.
- Roast pumpkins until flesh is cooked through.
- Scrape the pumpkin flesh off the skins- careful as pumpkins will be hot.
- Place all of the pumpkin flesh into the pot. Add some water (I used about 3 cups for this batch), and bring the mixture to a simmer. It will be lumpy.
- Carefully blend the now-warm pumpkin-water mixture. Pour the puree back into the pot, and bring it back up to a gentle simmer.
- As the pumpkin cooks, add the sugar and spices. This step needs to be done to your taste. I prefer to go lighter on the sugar and heavier on the spices.
- Once the pumpkin butter is seasoned to your taste, let it cook down until it has reached the consistency you desire. (And know that if you proceed to can it it will thicken slightly)
- Ladle the hot pumpkin butter into your jars, using the canning funnel to keep everything clean. Add rings and lids.
- At this point the pumpkin butter is done and could be stored in the refrigerator for immediate use.
- To can the pumpkin butter, load your hot jars into the pressure cooker/canner. Add water, then the lid. Bring to a strong boil, vent steam for 10 minutes. Add weight and bring to the correct pressure for your elevation. Cook under pressure for 45 minutes (for pint jars) and then allow to depressurize. Check seals after 12-24 hours. Failed seals can be put in the fridge and used immediately.