ANZ's Farms

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pumpkin Butter

I first tasted pumpkin butter at a friend's house last spring. Not only was it my first taste, it was the first time I ever heard of it! But one taste was all I needed to know I wanted to make some when canning season came around.

"Make pumpkin butter" languished on my to-do list for a couple of months ... until today. The delay, in part, was due to not being able to find a recipe. To my surprise and dismay, Pumpkin Butter is not listed in the Ball's Blue Book, the classic for canning. An online search turned up nothing. So when an e-newsletter from Country Living arrived, complete with a recipe, I printed it without even reading it.

Yesterday, I carved the pumpkin and steamed the meat. This morning, pureed pumpkin waited in the bowl as I started reading the recipe. The first ingredient was 1 stick unsalted butter ... hmmm. The apple butter I made last year didn't have butter in it. As I read on, I discovered it was a recipe for what must be described as pumpkin-flavored butter. Butter, a little pumpkin and some spices, blended and stored in the refrigerator. This was not what I was looking for! I went ahead and made a small batch, pictured above in the red pyrex container, just to try it out.

But this recipe does not lend itself to Christmas presents or enjoying home-grown pumpkin "off-season", two of my goals for making it in the first place. However, it actually turned out to be a good thing because it made me create my own recipe. My apple butter and pumpkin bread recipes were my inspiration. If sneaking a taste from the pot is a true indication, it turned out well (see jar in picture above). Here's what I did:

the meat of 1 fresh pumpkin, pureed (about 4 cups)
2 cups sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Ladle hot pumpkin mixture into prepared pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Water process for 10 minutes. Makes 4 pint jars.


  1. I make pumpkin butter (but not this year, so yours was welcomed with delight!), but read recently that it has been deemed an "un-safe" home-canned product because of it's low acid content and the thickness prevents it from getting hot enough in the center to kill all living things. I just add lot's of lemon juice and figure it hasn't hurt us yet, lol!

  2. PS -- a homesteader friend told me that she has heard pumpkin butter is not a safe product to can. The butter is so think that it doesn't heat properly during the water bath process. This may be why it is not in Ball's canning book. So far, I have not had any problem, but I have put the unopened ones in the refrigerator, just to be sure.
    Uddermost Farm Girl