How to Make Easy Spiced Caramel Pumpkin Butter
Roasted pumpkin puree baked slowly and simply with caramels, spices, and butter. This sweet treat is easy to make and can even be frozen for winter giving.
Right now pie pumpkins are $1.49 each at the grocery store. Cans of pumpkin puree are 3 for $5 ($1.67). Considering that a pie pumpkin makes more pumpkin puree than is in a can, it would be frugal to make your own. As much as I
I've got nothing against a can of pumpkin. In fact, canned pumpkin is a more consistent product than what my garden produces. If it's been a rainy season my pumpkin flesh will be more moist after roasting, and I need to adjust my baking to account for it. My pumpkins are volunteer, which means there may have been some chromosomal shenanigans going on in the compost bins. Could my pumpkins be GMO? Sure could--naturally and spontaneously genetically modified, though, by the whims of whatever lurks in the compost, not deliberately altered by me or anyone else.
The thing is, as much as I've been putting up endless farm share produce as salsa after this year, last year I was getting creative with the pumpkin. I made a large batch of Easy Spiced Caramel Pumpkin Butter just for grins and giggles. I froze some for a test (shown above) and stored the rest in the fridge.
As you may surmise, there will be future posts involving how I used this Easy Spiced Caramel Pumpkin Butter. The first step, though--source some pie pumpkins and get roasting. It is entirely possible you could turn a can of pumpkin puree into ESCPB [sick of typing that one out] but I've never tried it. I suspect it would cook down faster because you're starting with a drier, more processed, product.
I get why pumpkin is baked into pumpkin butter. Instead of sitting by a fire stirring a copper kettle of apples and praying you don't miss a spot and burn the batch during questionable weather, you can curl up on the couch with a book like I did. Every 15 minutes when the timer went off I'd get up, open the oven, remove the pan, stir the pumpkin, return the pan to the rack, close the oven and reset the timer. [Each time I got up, Robert Barker did as well. He got some exercise that afternoon.]
Note: This is a time-consuming method but it is not difficult. If you've got reading, or laundry, or something tying you near your home/oven for a long block of time [I'd say 4 hours to make sure you've built in time for pre/post processing and I work slowly] give it a try. The warm oven and the amazing smell sure do make this a cozy project.
Easy Spiced Caramel Pumpkin Butter
- 4 cups roasted pumpkin or pumpkin-like winter squash (here's how I roast mine)
- ¾ teaspoon salt (I use kosher)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1+½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 6 Tablespoons butter, cubed
- 10 caramels (from a bag of caramels)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl stir together pumpkin and spiced until well mixed.
- Spread in a wide baking pan (I use my 3 quart pan) so there is plenty of surface area for evaporation.
- Top with cubes of butter and unwrapped caramels, as shown.
- Place in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
- When the timer rings, remove, stir in the melted butter and caramels, and return the mixture to the oven. Set the timer for 15 minutes.
- When the timer rings, remove, stir the pumpkin mixture, and return the mixture to the oven. Set the timer for 15 minutes.
- Repeat #6 until the pumpkin butter is as thick as you desire when you take it out of the oven. For me, this took 2 hours.
- Let the pan cool for 15-30 minutes, then transfer the pumpkin butter to a food processor and puree until fully smooth.
- Transfer to jars or the storage container of your choice. I'm partial to these storage caps for my canning jars (Amazon affiliate link) but you do you.
- This Easy Spiced Caramel Pumpkin Butter stores for several weeks in the fridge and can be frozen for 6+ months. Once thawed, store it in the fridge for a few weeks.
|Behind the scenes--I set up lights in the basement because I forgot to photograph the thawed Easy Spiced Caramel Pumpkin Butter in daylight. Simon needed to investigate.|