I hate winter. I hate that I can't feel my toes for three months out of the year, and that the tips of my fingers are always blue. I hate that burrow myself in my homemade cave, and STILL can't find any warmth. And I hate that feeling I get, in Fall, when I bask in the sheer beauty of the season, only to remember that Fall is shortlived and winter is coming.
But, if I happen to be making pumpkin butter while in one of these particularly grumbly moods, my smell and tastebuds are powerful creatures, and can actually turn my mood around! (Matt is VERY thankful for my little mood switchers...) THEN, Fall is luscious and spicey and warm...and winter doesn't seem all that bad, IF I have a supply of pumpkin butter on hand.
I have never made pumpkin butter from a real pumpkin and here is why: I have never grown pumpkins (yet.) When you don't grow your OWN pumpkin, paying $4.00 for a pumpkin (plus doing all the prep work) doesn't seem worth it when I spy a can of pumpkin puree for $1.20 at the grocery store.
Next year, I hope to plant many Many MANY a pumpkin (because I am sick to death of the ridiculous prices that they are sold for and frankly, I LIKE having pumpkins around IF I didn't have to scoop into our retirement funds to do it!) When I do grow my own pumpkins, then it would be worthwhile to do it from scratch. But for now, I can get my pumpkin butter fix the easy way. And so can you!
Just four little ingredients are all you need:
29 oz. can of pumpkin puree
4 1/2 c. sugar
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 pkg. sure jell
Mix first three ingredients together in a saucepan, stirring on medium high heat until really hot. Then, add sure jell and boil hard for 1 minute.
Pumpkin products are not recommended for hot water bath canning, though I have known people to do it and get away with it just fine. But it SURELY wasn't me. Nope. Not I said the fly. Hear me now, as I shout from the rooftop:
I hereby state, that I do not endorse this sort of canning criminal act, and certainly don't recommend it! Nor do I accept any responsibility for the sickness thereby produced by inappropriate canning methods.
Pumpkin butter (and other pumpkin products) CAN be frozen so-there is a way for all to be right with the world this winter.
IF it can make it to the freezer.
Edited 3/19/13: I have, since posting this recipe, had many successful years of growing pumpkins and have used my homegrown pumpkins instead of canned pumpkin very successfully. Simply boil/roast fresh pumpkins and then puree insides. I then measured 29 ounces of puree with my kitchen scale. Either way- a winning recipe. :-)