Autumn in a Spoon: Pumpkin & Apple Butter

Apples and pumpkins

Just in case you are not completely pumpkined-out by now, here is a great way to use fall pumpkin, apple and pomegranate bounty!

  I used Acorn squash, Red Cara and Sugar Pie pumpkins

I used Acorn squash, Red Cara and Sugar Pie pumpkins

IMG_2631.jpg
  Apples and pumpkins, ready to go!

Apples and pumpkins, ready to go!

It is a lot of work to peel and chop all the pumpkin, but I guess I feel like I'm cheating if I use canned.  One trick is to section the pumpkins un-peeled & un-seeded, then de-seed and peel each piece individually. If you've ever tried to peel a whole pumpkin, you will understand the improved ability to wrangle them when they are in pieces.

Let's just clarify, all pumpkins are squash but not all squash are pumpkins, and they are all classified under the genus of Curcurbita.  Many of the larger squash can be used in this recipe, and in this case the Red Cara and the the Acorn squash were by far sweeter than the Sugar Pie pumpkin. Go figure! For the sake of simplicity, let's just call them all pumpkins for now.

INGREDIENTS & RECIPE

Makes about 8 x one pint mason jars

Approximately 6 pounds of whole pumpkin - variety(s) your choice, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into 1"-2" pieces

2 lbs whole apples, cored and chopped into 1"-2" pieces (leave peel on) 

4 -6 cups of liquid, can be water, fresh pomegranate juice, or mixture of both.  You want the liquid to just begin to show between the pieces of fruit.

1 cup of brown sugar (light or dark)

1 cup of maple syrup (Grade B)

2" piece of fresh ginger cut into a couple of large chunks

1/4 cup of ground cinnamon

1/8 cup of ground cardamom

3 tablespoons of vanilla - I like to use Shanks, www.shanks.com, but any good vanilla is just fine

-Chop pumpkin, apple and ginger as directed above and add to a large open saucepan

-Pour in all liquid and simmer uncovered until the pumpkin/apple starts to break down and the liquid to reduce

-Remove the chunks of ginger and reserve. Use an immersion blender to puree the pumpkin/apple mixture until smooth

-Return the ginger to the saucepan & mix in the brown sugar, maple syrup, and spices

-Continue to simmer on a medium heat, uncovered, until the mixture thickens, darkens in color and reduces by approximately 1/3.  Or when big bubbles start to come to the surface and verrry slowly burst!

-Prepare the mason jars - I usually boil them in water or heat through in the oven. Fill all the jars to just below the neck of the jar and seal lids tightly.

- This fruit butter should be refrigerated as this recipe uses less sugar than most preserves and will not last in the jar as long as high sugar recipes unless refrigerated.  I suggest you give it to your friends asap! 

  The apples are the last from my Fuji apple tree.  It's a great way to use up all the little and old ones still hanging around

The apples are the last from my Fuji apple tree.  It's a great way to use up all the little and old ones still hanging around

  The cardamom, ginger and vanilla are what give this a little bit of an off the beaten path flavor

The cardamom, ginger and vanilla are what give this a little bit of an off the beaten path flavor

IMG_2696.jpg
  Perfect breakfast: two soft boiled eggs, homemade bread with this pumpkin butter and some homemade marmalade

Perfect breakfast: two soft boiled eggs, homemade bread with this pumpkin butter and some homemade marmalade