I grew up in a not-so-well known part of Alabama. People say all kinds of stuff about the South and it certainly has lots of stereotypes, many of which are certainly true, but one thing the South really has going for it is the Appalachian Mountains.
What does this have to do with pumpkin butter?
Not far from my little town in Alabama, in the foothills of the Appalachians, is one of the most beautiful towns I have ever laid my eyes on- Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
We went to Gatlinburg many times growing up. Most families go to the beach or somewhere exotic for vacation, but my mom just loved the mountains. So we went to Gatlinburg- every time.
And Gatlinburg just does not get boring, and it certainly does not disappoint, no matter how many times you may go there.
One of the things I remember best- and have an incredibly special place in my heart for- is the outrageous number of local shops on practically every street corner, offering endless varieties of homemade fudge, saltwater taffy, delicious jams, and more homemade butters and spreads than one could possibly imagine.
I’ve always said that someday I would experiment and make my own butters just like the ones I grew up tasting, but I just never got around to it. I made plenty of homemade jams, but never butters.
Today, as I was missing the beauty of fall in the South, Gatlinburg came to my mind. I felt like I needed to do something to get my mind off my current situations, and focus on things I love: Fall, Gatlinburg, and butters.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you’re probably well aware (and possibly sick of) the fact that I just adore anything and everything pumpkin. Naturally, the obvious option for my butter was pumpkin. I mean, the fact that I love it so much usually means I have five or six cans of pumpkin purée stored in the pantry at any given time. That makes it even easier because I don’t even have to make a run to the store for something special.
So I did it. I made homemade pumpkin butter.
And seriously, I don’t say this to brag, it was so incredible that I just want to make ten more jars of it to have on hand for the next… well, forever.
There are only a couple of things I want to point out about the process.
First of all, if you are normally intimidated by canning- especially homemade jams- don’t let that keep you from trying this. I would say this was about ten times easier than making homemade jam, (and probably ten times more fun).
Also, you don’t have to do a long term preservation process if you plan on eating the butter quickly. Once made, it can last two to three weeks in the fridge. If you do want it to last long term, but don’t have any idea how to do proper canning, follow this easy guide! It’ll help you get started, and you’ll be far less intimidated.
If you have any questions, or just want to share about your experience, please comment!
Otherwise, go stuff your face with this amazing pumpkin butter!
Easy Pumpkin Butter
Here's What You Need:
1 15oz can pumpkin purée- not pie filling
1/3c dark brown sugar*
1/4c maple syrup
3tbsp lemon juice
4tbsp unsweetened apple juice*
pinch of salt
Here's What You Do:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to bubble, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 min. You can taste it at this point and add any seasonings as necessary- they will blend right in with it still being hot. Once cooled, transfer to mason jar and seal properly. This will store for two weeks in the fridge, or you can follow the canning instructions in the blog post to preserve for longer periods of time!
Enjoy on toast, muffins, pancakes, waffles, or just about any baked good!
*You can use coconut sugar or white sugar if you prefer, but the best “true” pumpkin butter taste will come from the brown sugar.
*You can omit the applesauce if you prefer your butter to be thicker, or if you simply don’t want to use apple juice, just add a little extra lemon juice.