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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pumpkin butter just in time for the Holiday's

Pecan Pumpkin Butter

Zest (outer peel only, no white pith) of 1 orange, or zest of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon, removed in wide strips with a swivel peeler
1 large can (29 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin plus 1/2 cup water, or 3-1/2 to 4 cups pumpkin puree prepared from scratch (see the headnote)
2 cups (packed) light brown sugar or
1-1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar plus 1/2 cup mild honey or light corn syrup
3 tablespoons strained fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted and grated or very finely chopped
Makes about 5 cups
1. Simmer the orange zest in 2 cups water in a sauce pan for 10 minutes, then drain it and mince it to a fine pulp. Measure out 1 tablespoon and reserve.
2. Combine in a heavy-bottomed stainless-steel or other nonreactive saucepan the pumpkin (and water, if canned pumpkin is used), orange zest, sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, allspice ginger, and cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; lower the heat and simmer the mixture, stirring it very often with a wooden spatula, until it has become very thick, about 15 minutes. Sample the butter and add a little more of any or all of the spices, if you like (remember, the flavors will blossom in storage). Add more sweetening if your tastebuds request it.
3. Stir in the nuts and continue to cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Ladle the boiling-hot pumpkin butter into clean, hot half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Seal the jars with new 2-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's instructions. Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Cool, label, and store for up to a year a cool cupboard. [Note: Instead of canning refrigerate or freeze for long-term storage.]

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