Spiced Pumpkin and Pecan Butter
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.