This is Cheese Pumpkin Project #2, using up the second half of the cheese pumpkin that I used in the Pumpkin Soup with Chipotle Chili Purée.
Pumpkin butter is terrific smeared on toast, or bread. This particular recipe is moderately adapted from Serious Eats.
1/2 a small cheese pumpkin, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
A pinch of ground cloves
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
A hand-held immersion blender
How to prepare:
1. Place the pumpkin cubes in a large Dutch oven. Add enough apple cider to barely cover the top of the pumpkin cubes. Bring everything to a brisk simmer over medium-high heat, before lowering the heat to medium-low. Cook the pumpkin until it is very tender, about 30 minutes. You should be able to easily crush a pumpkin cube against the side of the casserole with a wooden spoon when the pumpkin is done.
2. Turn off the heat and using an immersion blender, purée the pumpkin until it is smooth. Add the maple syrup, the brown sugar, and the spices to the puréed pumpkin. Stir everything together to evenly distribute the spices throughout the mixture.
3. Turn the heat back on to low. Simmer the purée uncovered until it is thick and spreadable, and has reduced by about more than half. This can take anywhere between 1 to 2 hours. Be sure to carefully stir the mixture occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pan as well to ensure that your pumpkin butter is not burning or scorching. If it is burning or scorching, turn the heat down even more.
* At a certain point, you may want to cover the casserole with a fine-mesh splatter screen. As the mixture cooks down, thick bubbles will form and burst on the surface that can make a bit of a mess on your stove, and potentially burn you. Be sure to use a screen that allows most of the steam to pass through it so that your pumpkin butter can cook down properly.
4. Once the pumpkin butter is nice and thick, stir in the butter. Turn off the heat, and let the mixture cool completely before transferring it to another container and storing it in the refrigerator.