November 12, 2009

Pumpkin Butter ~ A Dippy Love Story and Recipe



A few years ago my husband and I were in charge of making snack at my daughter's preschool.  On the top shelf of the oven, one of the teachers had an apple pie baking.  On the middle and bottom shelves we were baking grilled cheese sandwiches (Monterey Jack cheese on Milton's Original Whole Grain Bread).  As is oft to happen with fruit pies, the apple pie bubbled over, coating the corner of one of the sandwiches below with sweet, cinnamony goodness.  Mr. Rook, a big fan of trying unusual food combinations eyed the syrupy sandwich with eager anticipation.  I, however, was wary.  Perhaps it's un-American, but I'm not really a huge fan of apple pie (gasp!).  Smooth-talker that he is, Mr. Rook talked me in to trying a bite and, "WOW!"  It was fantastic!  Unfortunately, this accidental delicacy was in short supply.  So, that evening, we made up a batch of the same grilled cheese sandwiches.  Because we didn't have an apple pie on hand, and hoping to find a way of getting more immediate gratification, we heated up some of our homemade apple butter.  Mr. Rook, spicy devil that he is added a touch of hot sauce to his "dip".  "Shazamm!"  A taste sensation!


As apple time rolled in to pumpkin time, we tried the same approach with homemade pumpkin butter.  It's ridiculous how delicious it is when warmed and served as a sandwich dip! Does this sound weird to you?  Having a hard time buying the concept? Don't make that face.  I know you're making that face.   I dare you to try it.  I just dare you!  You'll thank me some day.

To get you started on your bold new sandwich dipping adventure, please enjoy (and try) my family's recipe for easy and delicious homemade pumpkin butter.  I believe the secret to its perfection is in its simplicity.  It also makes a lovely hostess gift:


Pumpkin Butter
makes 2 quarts

6 cups cooked, mashed, or canned pumpkin
4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot saucepan; stir well.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes until mixture is smooth and thickened.   Pour pumpkin butter into sterilized jars, filling to 1/4 inch from top.  Wipe jar rims clean.  Seal jars with metal lids and bands.  Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

What unusual food combinations have you come across in your culinary adventures?  Do share!

17 comments:

  1. My favorite unusual food combination is to dip a salty french fry in a chocolate milk shake. Mmmmmmm.

    The pumpkin butter recipe looks good!

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  2. Maybe you are on to something...I'll be looking for you on the street.

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  3. Your grilled cheese sandwich/apple butter combo doesn't seem strange to me. Some people put a slice of cheddar on their apple pie, after all.

    The pumpkin butter recipe sounds delicious! I must confess, I've never had pumpkin butter. I'd love to try it, though!

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  4. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. :) And for following. I'm following you as well. I'd love to do a link exchange with you. I'm grabbing your button right now. :)

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  5. I totally still walk down the street with a jar peanut butter, hoping to find some hot man walking around with a bar chocolate...and well the rest will be history!!

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  6. I wasn't making a face, I swear! That sounds really yummy to me, but I also dip salty french fries into vanilla milkshakes, another weirdo combo.

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  7. Have you ever run into trouble canning the pumpkin butter? It may sound like I'm a dork, but I just had a twitter discussion last week about canning pumpkin and one person said this is a no-no. Hmmm, I googled it and sure enough, it said the same! So, I wondered if you've had good results? (can't I find anything more interesting to talk about on twitter? Geez!) :)

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  8. Hmmm. I'm not much of a food mixer. I love pumpkin butter though!

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  9. Hmmm. I'm not much of a food mixer. I love pumpkin butter though!

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  10. Hmmm. I'm not much of a food mixer. I love pumpkin butter though!

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  11. Hmmm. I'm not much of a food mixer. I love pumpkin butter though!

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  12. I loves it. I will definitely have to try it...tomorrow...with apple butter. I will let you know how it goes.

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  13. Call me weird, but it sounds good to me. :)

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  14. On Iris's urging, I took a peek at your blog and I'll definitely be back! Especially if conversation about happy food accidents and awesome 80's commercials is the norm. My favorite was the one where the guy drops his chocolate bar from the movie theatre balcony, and there just happens to be a jar of creamy peanut butter waiting below. My current food obsession, that some might put into the odd food category, is bacon jam. Skillet Street Food in Seattle feeds my habit.

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  15. i can't think of my most unusual mix, but honestly i think you may be on to something really yummy. i am totally going to use that recipe for client gifts this holiday season! thank you so very much!!!!

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  16. This is great Jennifer, thanks for the recipe. I am new to canning. Is there an easy way for me to use the same recipe but use smaller jars and if so, what time would I process the jars? I'm thinking 8 oz. jelly jars for neighbor gifts. Is there a formula or something for changing processing times from quarts to smaller? Thanks, Shauna

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  17. Hi Jennifer, thanks for posting the recipe, I can't wait to make it. I'm kind of new to canning and am wondering if there is a formula or something I can use to find processing times (or recipe variation if applicable) for smaller jars. I'm thinking 8 oz. jars for neighbor gifts. Any suggestions? thanks, Shauna

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