Pumpkin butter on toast is always delicious, but there are many other ways to fill your fall days with this treat. Try it for breakfast stirred into plain yogurt or baked into granola. Or, blend it into a milkshake or maybe even marble it into your favorite coffee cake recipe.
This pumpkin butter is relatively lightly spiced; I like the flavor of the pumpkin and some tanginess of the apple juice to predominate. If you want it spicier, increase the amount of ground spices or add whole cinnamon sticks, cloves, and slices of fresh ginger to the apple juice while the cubed pumpkin is cooking (just be sure to remove them before pureeing the pumpkin).
- 1 medium sugar pumpkin (about 2 1/2 pounds), washed
- 1 ½ cups apple cider
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch ground cloves
Wash pumpkin well and peel with a vegetable peeler. Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds and stringy pulp with a spoon or melon baller.
Cut the pumpkin into 1- to 1 1⁄2-inch cubes. Place cubes in a Dutch oven or large saucepan in a single layer. Pour in apple cider; it should be enough to barely cover the pumpkin cubes about halfway. If not, add water.
Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Cook, stirring once or twice, until completely tender, about 30 minutes. Puree mixture with hand blender, or blend in standing blender in two batches, and return to pot.
Add maple syrup, brown sugar, and spices and simmer very gently over medium-low heat, uncovered. Cook, stirring and scraping bottom occasionally until thick and spreadable and bubbles that form in it burst very slowly, about 40 minutes longer.
Allow the pumpkin butter to cool to room temperature. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.