Because pumpkin is a low-acid food, simply canning pumpkin puree can cause botulism, and we don't want that. By adding the sugar and lemon, I have increased the pH of the pumpkin to a higher acid food; the pH levels should be high enough that the risk is very low. That being said, please read the following warning so you know how to can this treat properly!
There is NO DAIRY in this butter; the name "butter" in the title merely refers to the consistency. :) Smooth and buttery. I personally crave anything with spices in it during the fall/winter months, and I really wanted something to slather on biscuits the other morning. NOMS!
So here it is. Easy pumpkin butter! It makes a really great present, and if you learn to do canning (it's really easy too) it can last for quite some time and looks pretty when packaged up nice.
As a note: using pumpkins MADE for eating yields a MUCH tastier butter than using pumpkins made for carving. Jack-o-lantern pumpkins CAN be eaten, but they are bred to be cut up and not eaten, so the flesh isn't really very tasty. I used a Queensland Blue for this recipe.
You will need:
• a pumpkin; I made two pints out of a medium sized pumpkin. (Or use canned pumpkin).
• A small lemon
• Table sugar (regular granulated or turbinado)
• Brown Sugar
• Pumpkin Pie spice (blend of cinnamon, ground ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom).
• Crock pot (or pot with lid)
• Surface to cut on
• Jars with sealable lids
(EDIT: I'll try to get a better thumbnail preview image, I dislike this stock image one.)
If you don't want to have to cut up and roast your own pumpkin, you can use canned pumpkin puree. Make sure you aren't using "Pumpkin Pie" in a can; that already has spices added! If you're using canned pumpkin, go ahead and skip to step 3!
Step 1: Step One: Cutting and cleaning the pumpkin
The first step is to prepare your pumpkin.
I used the following for this step:
• Cutting board
• Sharp Knife
• Pumpkin carving knife (optional)
• Pumpkin (use a pumpkin variety made for eating for best results)
First, wash the pumpkin. Some people skip this step since we won't be using the outside of the pumpkin, but I always prefer safe to sorry. Light rinse it is! (Images 1 and 2) Now is a good time to pre-heat your oven: 350° F.
After washing, I attempted to cut through the pumpkin. Depending on the variety of your pumpkin, this might be a difficult task. I used a Queensland Blue; they have thick skin and are very "curvy," so I used a pumpkin carving knife I got during Halloween to cut through the thick skin. (Image 3)
If you have a fairly classic round pumpkin, you can cut the top off and begin scooping out the flesh first. But some pumpkins, like my Queensland Blue, are better off cutting open first to GET to the flesh and seeds!
Cut the pumpkin into pieces; they can be large, just try to have the surface as "flat" as possible. Once you've cut up the pumpkin, scoop out the stringy gut pieces and seeds. (Images 4 and 5) I used a metal ice cream scoop to just slurp out the seed goop! Works great.
(Save the seeds to roast and use this Instructable for the inner goop!)
Once all the pieces have been cleaned, cut the pieces again if you need to so that you have some "flat-ish" pieces for the next step.