Pumpkin butter is a delicious treat and is all things cozy and fall. Its a magical ingredient. Makes a lovely gift. Great for breakfast. And it is so easy to make. I've included step by step instructions to make pumpkin butter from scratch using fresh pumpkin a slow cooker. This recipe takes just 5 ingredients and the slow cooker makes it so easy.
Pumpkin butter is actually very easy to make from fresh pumpkin. And may be a necessary thing to know how to do because those cute little pie pumpkins are intriging and tempting. But then you get them home and wonder "What now?"
How to make pumpkin butter from scratch
By using the slow cooker this recipe is basically hands off. The hardest part might be dealing with the pumpkin.
First peel the pumpkin. A standard vegetable or potato peeler actually works really well for this.
Remove the stem end and cut in half to expose the seeds. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard (or save the seeds and toast them later). Cut the pumpkin flesh into 1-2 inch pieces and throw into a slow cooker along with some spices and 1 cup of water.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Walk away and let it go.
You will need about 3 lbs fresh pumpkin (5-6 cups of cleaned, peeled and cubed flesh) for this recipe.
When the 5-6 hours is done the pumpkin should be soft and falling apart. The water may not have been fully evaporated.
After time is up, transfer the pumpkin and liquid to a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender. Puree until smooth and creamy. Return to crockpot and adjust sweetner and spices.
Adjusting the sweetness and spices
At this point I like to add a little molasses or maple syrup.
- Maple syrup will result in a maple flavour (of course) and lighter colour.
- Molasses will make the pumpkin butter a a richer, deeper colour. I prefer molasses in this case - i just love the way molasses blends with the pumpkin spice.
If the butter is still not quite sweet enough add a bit more brown sugar at this point --start with a 2 tablespoons and add more until you reach the flavour you prefer. You should not need more than ¼ cup at this point.
You can also add more spices - add a bit more pumpkin spice or your favourite spice -- cinnamon, ginger, cloves, just go lightly
Retuyrn everything back to the slow cooker set back on low heat. Cook for another 1-2 hours.
I like my pumpkin butter thick and spreadable -- for the last cooking time, crack the lid slightly so all the moisture evaporates. You can prop it open with a wooden spoon.
Watch it closely during this second cooking time. It will get darker the longer you cook it. And honestly, its not likely to burn. but don't take any chances. Unlike the first 5-6 hours where I would say leave it be, get groceries, go to work, whatever, for this final cooking keep an eye on it.
Also note -- as with apple butter, if you let this cook for the first 5-6 hours and you just don't have time to finish it up, want to go to bed, whatever, no worries. Just but the lid back on the crock and put it the refrigerator. (Let it cool a bit before you put it in there). When you are ready, remove the crock from the refrigerator. Puree the pumpkin then put it all back into the crock and put it on low heat as directed for about 2 hours. Add the any additional sweetner. then cook as directed above until thick and creamy.
What can you do with pumpkin butter
- just about any recipe that calls for apple butter will be quite nice with pumplin butter
- Stir some into your oatmeal in the morning
- I like a scoop in my morning smoothie -- vanilla protein powder, almond milk, flax seed and a scoop of pumpkin butter will be your new favourite fall breakfast
- Make these muffins or these cookies
Storaging homemade pumpkin butter
Can you can pumpkin butter?
No. Pumpkin is not acidic enough for waterbath canning.
You can store pumpkin butter in the refrigerator for several weeks or the freezer for several months.
I keep mine in the freezer. You will get just over 3 cups from this recipe and this quantity of pumpkin. I keep one jar in the fridge for easy reach and using in the mornings for my smoothies etc. It will keep in the fridge for several weeks. The rest I stash in the freezer where it will be good for several months.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter from Scratch
- slow cooker or crockpot
- blender or immersion blender
- 3 lbs fresh pumpkin 5-6 cups of cleaned, peeled and cubed flesh
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 2 tablespoon to ¼ cup brown sugar or to taste
- 2 tablespoon molasses or maple syrup maple syrup for lighter colour and taste -- I prefer molasses
- feel free to add a bit more pumpkin spice or your favourite spice -- cinnamon ginger, cloves, just go lightly
- In the slow cooker add pumpkin, ¼ cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice, and 1 cup of water. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.3 lbs fresh pumpkin, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- Once cooking time is done and the pumpkin is very soft. The pumpkin will be falling apart at this point. Use an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender or food processor - but be careful it will be hot) and puree until very smooth.
- Return to the slowcooker and adjust the sweeteners and spices. Start with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or molasses, and if still not sweet enough add 2 tablespoons, or up to ¼ cup, of additional brown sugar. Feel free to also adjust the spices and add a bit more of our favourite -- but a little will go along way.2 tablespoon to ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoon molasses or maple syrup, feel free to add a bit more pumpkin spice or your favourite spice -- cinnamon
- Yield: 3-3-½ cups
- Turn the slow cooker back on low heat and cook for another 1-2 hours or until thick and spreadable. I like to crack the lid of the slow cooker during this stage so that extra moisture evaporates. Once the desired thickness is achieved, allow the pumpkin butter to cool slightly before transferring to a storage container. Can be store in the refrigerator for about a week or frozen for several months.