Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pumpkin Butter

Making jams, jellies, and butters doesn't necessarily come under baking, but they sure enhance a lot of baked goods. Muffins, scones, homemade bread and rolls always taste better slathered in them. Feeling fallish and having some leftover pumpkin made the choice for today's blog. I hope you try it because it's easy and will make wonderful gifts for the holidays.
The first thing you want to do is prepare the jars. I buy Ball jars (8-ounce size). When you wash them, make sure you run your finger around the rim to check for any cracks or irregularities. This is important for sealing properly. I fill the jars with water and place 3 at a time in the microwave on HIGH for 3 mins/45 secs. This step easily sterilizes the jars. Use canning tongs (or a hot pad) to remove them. Pour out the water and turn them upside down on paper towel-lined baking sheet. Cover the jars with a towel. Repeat until you have prepared 7 jars. Also, place the jar rings into a saucepan, covered with water and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the lids. In an enamel-lined Dutch oven(I use LeCreuset) combine:
5 cups canned pumpkin (not pie mix!)
1 box (1 3/4 ounce) packaged powdered fruit pectin
1 1/2 T. pumpkin pie spice
Cook and stir over medium-high till mixture is very hot (the mixture is too thick to boil)
Stir in 5 1/2 cups of sugar and continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil.
At this point, I like to cover the top with a silcone lid to prevent the mixture from
popping up on me.

Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly, but keep the lid on or use aluminum foil to protect yourself.
Don't go away and answer the phone. I did that once and came back to find pumpkin butter on my ceiling!
Turn the jars over and ladle the mixture into them to 1/4-inch from the top.
Wipe the rims with a wet paper towel and then, add the lid and ring. Close tightly and turn the jars upside down. When you have all the jars filled, set timer for 10 minutes. Turn the jars upright and you should hear a "popping" to signal they have sealed. Test by pressing in on the top. If you can still press and feel it go down, it isn't sealed. Turn it upside down and wait another 5 to 10 minutes to test. Any jar that doesn't seal should be placed in the refrigerator, but I've never had that happen. I can't wait to try the crumpets and spoon Pumpkin Butter on top. Hope you'll try this. Enjoy!

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