Maple Ginger Pumpkin Butter

This easy, homemade pumpkin butter is excellent on toast, killer on pancakes or waffles, and even makes a great topping for greek yogurt.

Has anyone else ever wished pumpkin butter tasted a little more like – butter? Call me clueless, but as a kid I never stopped wanting each bite to taste like the seasonal output of an exotic, gourd eating cow. Of course, the reality was something much closer to gourmet applesauce, and while still tasty, it was just – missing something. Something like, you know, butter. 

Which I guess is why a lot of people eat their pumpkin butter with butter – a perfectly fine solution, but one that the idealist in me can't help but want to tinker with. Because it seems to me that a purée is a purée, and a butter is a butter. And if we're really going to call this pumpkin butter, well, we need to add some. And maybe some freshly ground ginger and lemon peel, just because we can.

This recipe is super simple: All the ingredients go in one pan, where they're whisked together then simmered over low heat for about 20 minutes before finishing with just enough butter to add depth, but not a ton of extra calories. One batch will make about two small jam jars worth of pumpkin butter, which you can keep yourself or give away as hostess gifts or other small offerings once the holiday rounds pick up. The butter is excellent on toast, incredible on pancakes or waffles, and it even makes a great topping for greek yogurt. Here, we boil it down to a thick but spreadable consistency, but if you keep going you can reduce it further to a topping for a pumpkin pie cheesecake or other layered dessert. Lastly, don't hesitate to fold some into whipped cream for a killer pumpkin mousse.

One final note about the simmering stage: This is a thick sauce, so be extra careful with safety while it's cooking. Those bubbles can fling off some very hot splashes, so covering the pot partially is not a bad idea, nor is being very careful when you stir to keep your hand and arms protected. 

Maple Ginger Pumpkin Butter

1 15oz can of pumpkin

1/2 cup apple juice

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup granulated coconut flower nectar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon peel

2 tsp freshly grated ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup butter 

1. With the exception of the salt and the butter, place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir well to combine. Over medium-low heat, cook until mixture starts to boil, stirring regularly.

2. Reduce heat to low, and partially cover the pot with a lid to guard from splashes. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring regularly so the mixture doesn't burn.

3. Remove pan from heat; add butter and salt. Whisk carefully until the butter is fully incorporated and the pumpkin butter has a sheen. Transfer to heat-proof containers and allow to cool. Cover and store in refrigerator.