Thursday, November 8, 2012

Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter- home roasting pumpkin and seeds

Pumpkin Butter
mmmm can you smell it?
What smells better than Fall?
Crisp air, apple cider and pumpkin anything!

This year I grew my own pumpkins for the first time! We had a dry year but they didn't seem to mind, my main chore was keeping them watered and keeping Squash Vine Borers away! Dirty buggers!

I used small baking pumpkins 
There are many varieties of pumpkins/squash that cook well, Jack o Lanterns do not.
Cut in half, clean out and save the seeds for roasting, place pumpkin halves cut side down in a pan filled with an inch of water. Bake at 300- 350 until soft.
Scrape the meat from inside and disguard peels.

  Easy Crockpot Method
Place your pumpkin in crock pot, you can use canned store bought if you like.
I used about 6 quarts, you may hand blend for smoother pumpkin, I did not, mine was pretty soft and easily mashed, this could vary based on variety cooked.
add 4 c sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
cover and cook on low for several hours, stirring occasionally. Pumpkin will reduce and thicken turning golden brown. If you find too much water gathering at each stir, you can leave the lid cracked and cook on high for about an hour to help reduce some of the moisture.
Cooking should take anywhere from 10- 15 hours with this much pumpkin, adjust as needed for your crock pot and amount of ingredients.
When done, place  in hot jars, seal, and water bath can for 10 minutes.
If you don't can you can freeze in containers.
 Served here with English Muffin Bread

for seeds-
I clean them as best I can, soak in a bowl full of water saturated with salt. Approx 5 c water and 1/2 c salt, stir every few hours. After soaking for 24 hours, drain seeds and place on baking sheet, cook at 200 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes until seeds are dry and water has evaporated. Cool and store in air tight container.

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