Augh, I’ve lost out again! The crushing truth is now finally hitting me, hard. How sad am I that I’ve now missed out on the prime season for turning fresh fruits into sweet, syrupy jams, having nothing to preserve from summer and save for those colder days. It just figures, every time I get these big plans for seasonal things to make, I never fulfill my ambitions. It’s too late now! Forget those ice creams, frozen fruits, cold soups… I’m sick of loosing whole seasons like this! I swear, this is the last time I’ll be resigned to comforting myself with the standard saying of, “There’s always next year…”
Despite my complaints, I am happy to atleast have winter ahead of me and fall currently within my grasp. And while I can’t get those plump, juicy stone fruits to preserve any more, I do have one of my favorite autumn specialties – Pumpkin.
Even if it isn’t from my own garden but a can instead, pumpkins always manage to lift my spirits when lamenting the end of summer. Such a lovely glowing orange, everything about them is cheerful. I would have bought a whole one and roasted it, but they aren’t yet widely available, (Or particularly cheap…) So canned it was!
I literally have a whole list of pumpkin-based goodies I’m just dying to create in the kitchen, but at the very top is always pumpkin butter. Who needs those other sticky, sickeningly unctuous jams when you’ve got the deep, brassy tones of pumpkin and spice, highlighted by the refined and delicate sweetness of maple syrup. Brainlessly easy, I bet that even our president could make it. Yeah, it’s really that simple.
There are thousands upon thousands of recipes out there, some calling for honey, some with molasses, mixing up the spices and adding in various flavors, but this is how I make mine. It’s very straightforward, and every time I spread a dollop on top of a slice of toast, muffin, you name it, it is guaranteed to always make me glad this year’s summer is over and done with.
15 oz Can of Pumpkin
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground All Spice
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
Dash Ground Nutmeg
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, mix together the pumpkin mush and maple syrup until they’re both fully combined. If you prefer your spread to be sweeter, don’t be shy and feel free to add in as much syrup as it takes to satisfy that sweet tooth. Have fun with it – It’s pretty hard to screw this recipe up.
Continue to stir the pumpkin slowly for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until the mixture had thickened to a desirable consistency. The stirring is important though, so DON’T walk away! If you do, your pumpkin may scorch and get burnt onto the bottom of the pan, and that wouldn’t be so tasty. The black bits really don’t look to attractive, either.
Anyway, once you’ve determined that it’s nice and thick, take your pan off the heat and you can go ahead and mix in all your spices. I also add in just a pinch of salt, because I believe that it helps to round out all the flavors and make them a bit brighter, but you don’t need to by all means.
Now, I don’t know anything about the proper way to can foods, so you’ll have to ask someone else. What I do is take a clean, empty jar and spoon in the hot pumpkin butter. I allow it to cool before topping it off with the lid, and then make sure it’s reached room temperature before moving it to the fridge. Refrigerated, it should last a solid month or two. That is, if it isn’t all eaten before then.