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Spiced Pumpkin and Pecan Butter

No recipe image available.This spiced 'butter' is delectable spread across a slice of buttered toast or any hot bread, atop pancakes and waffles in place of syrup. You can even put a dollop on top of a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream.

Recipe Ingredients:

Zest of 1 orange or zest of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon removed in wide strips with a swivel peeler
1 (29-ounce) can solid pack pumpkin plus 1/2 cup of water or 3 1/2 to 4 cups pumpkin puree prepared from scratch
2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 tablespoons strained fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted and very finely chopped

Cooking Directions:

  1. Simmer the orange zest in 2 cups water in a saucepan for 10 minutes, then drain it and mince it to a fine pulp. Measure out 1 tablespoon and reserve. Combine in a heavy-bottomed stainless-steel or other nonreactive saucepan, the pumpkin and water (if using canned) orange zest, sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, allspice, ginger and cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; lower the heat and simmer the mixture, stirring it very often with a wooden spatula, until it has become very thick, about 15 minutes. Sample the butter and add a little more of any of all of the spices, if you like (although flavors will blossom in storage). Add more sweetening if your taste buds request it.
  2. Stir in the nuts and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle the boiling-hot pumpkin butter into clean, hot half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Seal the jars with new 2 piece canning lids according to manufacturer's instructions. Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool, label, and store for up to a year in a cool cupboard.

Makes 5 cups.