Last fall my friend Ami, sent me a jar of pumpkin butter from Trader Joes’. Apparently she didn’t think I’d actually go to the Trader Joe’s that’s less than a block away from my bus stop and buy myself a jar after hearing her rave about it. That and she’s just really nice. It was amazing!
About that same time, I was making my homemade pumpkin puree to get ready for Thanksgiving and made WAY more than I needed to my pumpkin pie. Since Ami was talking about stocking up on this pumpkin butter because it’s only available seasonally, I thought why not make my own?
I googled a few recipes and looked at the ingredients on the Trader Joe’s jar and set out to experiment. I used brown sugar and the same spices I put in my pumpkin pie, some honey (because that’s how Trader Joe’s sweetened theres) and lemon juice and tasted and adjusted. I knew it would get stronger as it thickened so once I thought it was good I threw it on the stove. It came out AMAZING! Better than Trader Joe’s, but then again homemade usually is better than store bought.
This goes great on English muffins. And of course when I brought a few jars home, my mom had to try it by putting it on ice cream. Oh. My. Gosh! That was amazing!
Here’s what you need:
Start by whisking together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. This will help prevent clumps of spices from forming together with the wet ingredients.
Now add in some honey and lemon juice.
And it’s time to add the pumpkin puree.
Transfer to a pot and set over medium heat. Bring it up to a simmer stirring occasionally.
Let it simmer gently for about 40 minutes until it thickens. See that dot in the middle – that’s not on your screen or a mistake in my photo editing, it’s a little steam vent in the puree. It’s simmering at just the right temp when you have one or two of these. Keep stirring occasionally.
Once it’s done, store in the refrigerator or transfer to mason jars or another freezer container and freeze.
I actually canned some of mine (because I needed a way to get some down at room temperature to Ami in Phoenix to try my version). I have to warn you the FDA recently changed their opinion on canning apple and pumpkin butters like this and does not recommend canning because the interior should technically reach a certain temperature to kill bacteria and be safe for long term storage at room temperature. In home kitchens due to how thick this is, apparently it’s pretty hard to be sure you do this. I talked to a few people who regularly can things and none of them seemed worried so I did it anyway.
Can in a hot water bath for about 40 minutes. Transfer to the counter to cool, over 12-24 hours the caps will pop and suck in indicating they have sealed. If any caps don’t pop, store in the fridge.
I did freeze a good portion of it, and limited my canning to the amount I needed to transport at room temperature. The rest I froze.
This stuff is amazing and addicting. It goes great on ice-cream, on English muffins, in a smoothie with some Greek yogurt, and I’m sure a lot of other things I haven’t thought of yet!
- 8 c pumpkin puree
- 2 c brown sugar
- 1 c honey
- 8 t lemon juice
- 2 t cinnamon
- 1-2 t fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 t ground ginger
- ½ t ground cloves
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until combined.
- Bring to a boil in a large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook approximately 40 minutes until thick, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to mason jars and store in the freezer.