Apple Butter, Pear Butter, and Pumpkin Butter (and how to cook a pumpkin)

Apple Butter, Pear Butter, and Pumpkin Butter (and how to cook a pumpkin)

One of the earliest cooking memories I have is of my mom simmering apple butter overnight on the old wood cookstove in the hundred-year-old farmhouse we lived in at the time. I wasn’t to touch it, of course, but I do remember one of my stuffed animals getting a melted nose (he wanted to smell the apple butter, of course!).  After we moved out of that house, my mom didn’t want to spend the electricity to make apple butter on the stovetop in the new house, so she didn’t make apple butter for years.  Until I moved to Minnesota and found the owner of a local apple orchard, who told me you could make apple butter overnight in the Crock-Pot and — gasp! you didn’t even have to peel the apples first!  The peel softens, and you just whiz it up with an immersion blender!

Apple Butter
Overnight apple butter
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132 calories
36 g
0 g
0 g
1 g
0 g
245 g
3 g
25 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
245g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 132
Calories from Fat 4
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 3mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 36g
12%
Dietary Fiber 7g
29%
Sugars 25g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
19%
Calcium
4%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Apples
  2. Spices as desired: cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice, ginger...
  3. Sweetener as desired
Instructions
  1. Quarter and core apples enough to fill your Crock-pot, rounding up under the lid. Turn on low for at least 8 hours, maybe 12, depending on what consistency you want. I ended up cooking it about 12 hours.
  2. Once the apples are cooked down, use an immersion blender to chop up any skin left un-disintegrated.
  3. Add spices and sweetener to taste. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. This can be canned or frozen to keep longer.
  2. I ended up putting about 3 TBS of honey and cinnamon in mine, but keep in mind Crock-Pot sizes may differ, so sweeten and spice it to your taste.
Adapted from the lady at the orchard...
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calories
132
fat
0g
protein
1g
carbs
36g
more
Adapted from the lady at the orchard...
The Copper Lemon http://thecopperlemon.com/
Well, both my mom and I have made apple butter nearly every year since.  I don’t season mine normally, though I like cinnamon in it.  You can choose what you like.  But in the throes of joy, I also decided to experiment with pear and pumpkin butters (I like to give food gifts at Christmas).  So you are the lucky recipients of three! recipes today, all of which can be made in the Crock-Pot (though I have a quick and dirty stove-top method for pumpkin too).

Pear Butter
Sweet and spiced pear butter
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100 calories
27 g
0 g
0 g
1 g
0 g
167 g
2 g
17 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
167g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 100
Calories from Fat 2
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 2mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 27g
9%
Dietary Fiber 5g
21%
Sugars 17g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
12%
Calcium
1%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Pears
  2. Spices to taste (ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon)
  3. Sweetener to taste
Instructions
  1. Quarter and core pears; no need to peel them, as the peel disintegrates. Fill the Crock-Pot with the pears and cook on low for 8-12 hours. I cooked them about 12 hours. Using an immersion blender, chop up any leftover pieces of peel. Add sweetener and spices to taste.
Notes
  1. This may be canned or frozen to keep longer.
  2. I ended up putting in about 3 TBS of honey and cinnamon, and about 2 TBS each ginger and cardamom, but keep in mind Crock-Pot sizes may differ, so sweeten and spice it to your taste.
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calories
100
fat
0g
protein
1g
carbs
27g
more
The Copper Lemon http://thecopperlemon.com/
One note.  I have canned all three of these (don’t worry, you just need your oven, not a canner), but it is not recommended to can pumpkin butter.  I have never had a problem, and I would just add a little lemon juice to increase the acidity (that’s the issue), but I thought you should have a PSA.  It keeps fine in the fridge, but if you want to give it in little jars as gifts (as I have several times), just know that it’s not recommended to can pumpkin butter.  🙂  Do as you wish.  All three of these also freeze well, if you like.

Pumpkin Butter
Dark, sweet, spicy pumpkin butter
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3268 calories
822 g
0 g
7 g
27 g
3 g
2646 g
301 g
722 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
2646g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 3268
Calories from Fat 55
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
10%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 301mg
13%
Total Carbohydrates 822g
274%
Dietary Fiber 52g
208%
Sugars 722g
Protein 27g
Vitamin A
5339%
Vitamin C
130%
Calcium
109%
Iron
173%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Stovetop Method
  1. 3 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (if using canned pumpkin, use plain pumpkin, not pie filling)
  2. 2 cups brown sugar (or less!)
  3. 1 TBS pumpkin pie spice
  4. 1 envelope gelatin
  5. 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
Crock-Pot Method
  1. 3 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  2. 1 cup apple juice or water
  3. 1 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 TBS pumpkin pie spice
Stovetop Method
  1. Stir ingredients together in a large pot and heat gently to bubbling. Allow to cool somewhat before placing in jars or containers.
Crockpot Method
  1. Stir ingredients together in a Crock-pot and cook on low about 6 hours or until you like the consistency.
Notes
  1. Again, it's not recommended to can pumpkin butter, though I have canned it in the past with and without lemon juice, and it was fine. Perhaps the method I use to can the butters makes up for the difficulties mentioned in the article.
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calories
3268
fat
7g
protein
27g
carbs
822g
more
The Copper Lemon http://thecopperlemon.com/
If you would like to use a real pumpkin rather than canned, make sure you purchase a “pie” pumpkin.  They are usually small, round, and darker orange than the usual “jack-o-lantern” ones.  The larger ones can be used, but the flesh is lighter, less intense in flavor, and sometimes stringy, which doesn’t work for pumpkin butter or pie (though pumpkin bread is ok).

Cut the pumpkin in half from north to south (stem and blossom, not around the middle).  You can scrape out the seeds before or after baking, but don’t throw them out! They make great snacks!  Lay the cut sides down on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 45 minute to an hour, until you can slide a knife right through like cutting butter.  Scrape out the seeds (it’s easier this way), and then scrape the flesh into a separate bowl.  Go right up to the skin.  This can be mashed and used just as you would canned pumpkin.  You can also freeze it for later, when pumpkins aren’t all over the stores — think Christmas pumpkin pies!

cooked pumpkin | thecopperlemon.com

Wash the pulp off the seeds, spread them out on a baking sheet (you can use the same one!), and sprinkle with salt.  Bake at 300 F for 45 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

This method works on any hard winter squash, so knock yourself out! 🙂

Canning the Butters
How to easily can apple butter, pear butter, and *pumpkin butter*
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102 calories
0 g
31 g
12 g
0 g
7 g
251 g
11 g
0 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
251g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 102
Calories from Fat 101
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
18%
Saturated Fat 7g
36%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 31mg
10%
Sodium 11mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 0g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
7%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Canning jars
  2. Rings
  3. Lids
  4. Large-mouth funnel
  5. Measuring cup
  6. Boiling water
  7. Magnet stick (comes with the canning funnel)
  8. Butter of choice to be canned
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 F.
  2. Using the funnel, ladle the butter into the jar till just below where the screw part starts. Make sure not to get ANY food particles on the lip of the jar or even a little ways down, or else your jar won't seal. Wipe it off with a damp paper towel if you're not sure.
  3. Once your jars are full, put your lids into a large measuring cup and fill with boiling water. If the rubber doesn't soften, your lids won't seal (I found this out). Leave it for about 5 minutes.
  4. Use the magnet stick to get the lids out of the boiling water and place onto the jars, screwing the rings down, about as tightly as you can without forcing them.
  5. Place the jars in the oven on a middle rack for an hour. A little more is ok too.
  6. Take them out, careful not to tip them -- they're not sealed yet, and you don't want to get food up on the lip!
  7. Set them on the counter to cool (use a glass counter-saver, or your cool stovetop). You will hear popping sounds as the lids seal. When the jars are cool (usually in the morning - 12 hours!), tap the lids with your fingernail. You want to hear a clear "open" sound -- not a dull sound, and certainly not a lid with the clicky, poppy bubble! Refrigerate any you're not sure of. You can take a new lid and try to re-can them, or just eat it.
  8. Now you can tighten the rings on your sealed jars. Put cute labels, cloth circles on the top, and/or ribbon to give these as gifts!
Notes
  1. If the jar boils over during the process, wait till the jar cools completely, wash it off, and remove the ring. Test with your fingernails to see if the seal was broken. If not, you're good! If it did break, you can use a new lid to re-seal them, or just put it in the fridge and eat it.
beta
calories
102
fat
12g
protein
0g
carbs
0g
more
The Copper Lemon http://thecopperlemon.com/
Here’s a link to a great description of what a sealed lid looks/sounds like.
https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-tell-if-a-canning-jar-is-sealed-1389148

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