Who else is glad the 'Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2009' is a thing of the past? This girl is, that's who. And when I found this recipe I knew it for sure.
I don't know what flavor screams "fall!" more than pumpkin. Add to that brown sugar, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and you have the makings for one sweet treat.
And why not share the love? Pack that pumpkin in some cute little jars to give to friends and you'll soon realize you just might need to make another batch... for yourself!
1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Juice of half a lemon (or 3 tablespoons lemon juice)
Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to taste. Stir in lemon juice, or more to taste.
Once cool, pumpkin butter can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To preserve: Spoon hot pumpkin mixture into hot jars, filling to within 1/4 inch from top. Remove air bubbles; wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids, and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
After I realized just how quickly I was going through that 'cute little jar' I decided to make another batch. I'm not quite sure how, but the two batches were totally different. The first was runny and took forever to thicken up (splattering and making a huge mess in the process) and the second was perfectly thick from the get go. What I know to be true is that I definitely forgot the lemon juice in the second batch and I may or may not have only added a teaspoon of cinnamon to the first batch. Don't ask me how... I must have been overcome with the amazing aroma that I wasn't concentrating on the recipe. But, what I also know to be true is that both the batches taste really great.
I wasn't quite sure how preserving would work, so I called Grandma and got some great advice, as usual. Follow the recipe to preserve as written above, but instead of processing the jars in a water bath, flip the jars over and let them sit until the metal lid has popped. If you push down on the lid and it pops back, flip those jars back over and let them sit a while longer. Just to be safe, I'd recommend keeping the pumpkin butter in the refrigerator, but to be honest it probably won't be around long enough for it to go bad.
I was able to fill four 8-ounce jars with one batch of the mixture... which made for six lucky friends and just enough left for me.