Recipe: Pumpkin butter is so easy, why aren’t you making it already?  »

It’s the simplest thing in the world; you barely need a recipe. Let me walk you through it.

Take a sugar pie pumpkin. Halve it, gut it. Line a baking dish (NOT A COOKIE SHEET) with parchment paper and put your twin pumpkin halves in it.

Bake at 350 for an hour or so, until your pumpkin looks like this:

I poked mine with a knife a few times to check for doneness. It’s like baking any squash; you want it to be soft but not mushy, lest it melt.

Allow to cool a bit, then scrape all the pumpkiny flesh from the skin and deposit it in a food processor (not a blender, unless you have a VitaMix or similar super-machine). You can add something like lemon juice as a contrast/preservative, or do what I did, which was add some homemade apple butter, which isn’t nearly as sour as lemon juice and may contribute to the depth of flavor. Blend some more.

Now add your sugar. I used a brown sugar, about 1/2 cup to 4 lbs. of pumpkin, but it’s really to taste. This is your pumpkin butter! I also added a whole bunch of garam masala (more interesting that “pumpkin pie mix” plus cheaper because you can buy it in a bag in the “international foods” section near all the dried chiles), some vanilla, a little salt. Blend until smooth, adjusting the ingredients for taste. If it won’t blend, add water until it does. Don’t worry.

Move your pumpkin butter from the food processor to a pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the fire down low, cover it with a nice mesh splatter screen, and let it cook down. Depending on how much liquid you had to add, and how thick you want it, the mixture can take from 30 minutes to many hours to cook down. Again, don’t worry.

Once it’s achieved optimal thickness, take it off the stove and let it cool. Put in in jars, and take vanity pictures for the internet.

Congratulations, you have homemade pumpkin butter! Which you made by mostly applying heat!

Finally, a tip if, like me, you add too much lemon juice/sugar/whatever and fuck it all up: Just bake a new pumpkin, blend it up, and add it to the weird stuff in a bigger pot. Apply heat, adjust for taste. Eventually, instead of a single batch of not-right pumpkin butter, you will have a double batch of delicious pumpkin butter. Foist it on your friends and family if you’re afraid you won’t eat it all (you will). Look, you are a genius at fall foods!

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