24 December, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Butter

Crock-pot Spiced Pumpkin Butter ingredients (12)
Makes about 1 to 1.5 cups
1 navel orange, washed and dried
1 (29-oz) can pure pumpkin purée
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1.5-oz (3 Tbsp) fresh orange juice (about 1/2 medium navel orange)
1.5-oz (3 Tbsp) apple cider
1.5-oz (3 Tbsp) Frangelico® Hazelnut Liqueur
0.5-oz (1 Tbsp) unsulphured molasses
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1.5 tsp freshly-ground dried orange peel

Notes:  (Since I fell asleep,) I cooked for a total of 12.5 hours on the Low setting. Next time, I suspect 10 hours will be sufficient.

Crock-pot Spiced Pumpkin Butter directions
Cut and dry fresh orange peel
Preheat oven to 200ºF. Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to remove the orange zest in long strips about 1/2-inch wide without the white part underneath. After the first strip, stop and take a minute to look at the back; adjust your pressure to avoid the white part because it is bitter. Remove all of the bitter white part from all of the strips; it will ruin this dish.

Spread the long strips on a foil-covered baking sheet; bake in the preheated 200ºF oven until dried, about 30 minutes.

When the orange zest is dried (crunchy, but not burned), remove from the oven; set aside briefly. Hold dried peel strips over mortar and use kitchen shears to snip into 1/8-inch-wide pieces. Then, use a pestle to finely grind the dried orange peel; you should have about 1.5 tsp.

Cook down pumpkin
While you are drying the orange peel, add pumpkin purée and next nine (9) ingredients (through cloves) to the crock-pot. Stir well and cook, uncovered, on High.

Stir the ground orange peel into the crock-pot mixture; cover and reduce heat to Low setting. Cook until mixture thickens to desired consistency, about ## hours more; stir about every two (2) hours. Be sure to run spoon around the edge and turn over towards the center of the crock-pot. Adjust spices and sweetness if necessary; keep in mind the flavors will strengthen as it cooks down and then cools.

Purée and ladle into jars
Turn off crock-pot; purée using an immersible blender. If it's too thick, add a splash of apple cider; stir in and purée again. Once cooled, you can store either in the freezer or the refrigerator.

For freezer storage up to ## months, ladle into clean and dry freezer-safe containers.

For refrigerator storage up to ## days, spoon through a funnel into clean and dry glass jars, pressing the mixture with the back of a spoon to eliminate air-pockets; cap securely.

Inspired by Helen Witty, The Good Stuff Cookbook (New York: Workman Publishing Company, 1997), 302 - 303 and Kevin at Closet Cooking.

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