Make your own quick and easy Homemade Pumpkin Butter Trader Joe’s® style! Bright flavor notes from apple juice or cider and a touch of fresh lemon as well as sweetened and spiced just right, our pumpkin butter does not disappoint. Don’t wait until fall to make this quick and easy all-season version to enjoy on biscuits, muffins and scones, etc. Recipe includes paleo and vegan options, a variation for Bourbon Pumpkin Butter and 12 ways to enjoy pumpkin butter. Ready in just 15 minutes!
Make Your Own Pumpkin Butter:
Trader Joe’s Style Homemade Pumpkin Butter
Are you like me? Do you stockpile your favorite pumpkin butter to keep on hand year ‘round? Although I enjoy making my own pumpkin purée and pumpkin butter from scratch, sometimes in a time crunch when a major crave hits it is especially handy to have some prepared pumpkin butter in the pantry, like my favorite by Trader Joe’s®, or to make your own quick style Homemade Pumpkin Butter using canned pumpkin purée.
What, an all-season pumpkin butter recipe from canned pumpkin purée? Yes. You can do this. Totally.
If a celebrated and world renowned multi-Michelin-starred chef, such as Chef Daniel Boulud, can embrace canned tuna when he cooks at home, we can all embrace canned pumpkin purée to make a quick and easy style of pumpkin butter when we cook at home, too.
Although the pumpkin butter by Trader Joe’s® does not contain apple juice or cider, I enjoyed concocting my own homemade version to include it yet keep with the same bright flavor notes by adding freshly squeezed lemon juice after cooking. Going further, I like to juice fresh Honeycrisp apples when available and add it to this recipe for a truly incredible pumpkin butter.
All pumpkin butters are not the same. In fact, I am not really a fan of super thick and very dark pumpkin butters that are too sweet, overly spiced with too much cinnamon and taste a bit overcooked—almost burnt—where the flavor of pumpkin is entirely lost.
Instead, I prefer a lighter pumpkin butter both in color and texture, spiced just right with ample citrus notes from lemon, that allows the full pumpkin flavor to shine through without getting muddied down. These quality characteristics make an especially sublime Homemade Pumpkin Butter for both eating and baking.
Ingredients list from the label of Trader Joe’s® Pumpkin Butter: Pumpkin, sugar, honey, lemon juice concentrate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg.
So, why am I sharing a Homemade Pumpkin Butter recipe today? Am I crazy?
Well, I have wanted to share a few recipes to celebrate March and April’s Maple Syrup Harvest season due to my love of all things pure maple syrup. And, what better way to do that than with a couple extra-special pumpkin recipes? Below are links to today’s other featured recipes:
Breakfast is hands down the favorite meal at our house and I feel as though I should, and have plans to, add more breakfast recipes here at Wicked Good Kitchen. We go through buckets of pure maple syrup at our house as I use it often in my paleo recipe development and enjoy adding it to my paleo porridge, 3-Minute Coconut Almond Porridge, homemade paleo granola, pancakes and waffles, etc., as well.
Pumpkin lovers rejoice. Below is a list of suggested uses for prepared or Homemade Pumpkin Butter.
12 Ways to Enjoy Pumpkin Butter
- As a spread on breakfast cookies, muffins, scones and toast or bagels with cream cheese
- As a dip for crackers, graham crackers, pretzels and fresh fruit
- As a mix-in for cereal, granola, oatmeal, and Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with nuts
- As a mix-in for custards, puddings and for making French toast
- As a mix-in for cocktails and smoothies as well as coffee, lattes and hot cocoa
- As a spread in sandwiches with any favorite nut butter
- As a mix-in for maple syrup or spread to serve with French toast, pancakes or waffles
- Swirl into blondies, cheesecake, coffee cake, tea loaf or muffin batters
- Layer into trifles for a decadent pumpkin spice dessert
- As a filling for Rugelach or Tassies (Christmas cookies) or sandwich between whoopie pies
- As a topping over ice cream or frozen yogurt
- As a base for chutneys and compotes with chopped apples or pears, dried fruit, onions and nuts to serve atop baked Brie, ham or pork chops or pork roast, or to serve with appetizers and cheese trays, or as a sauce stirred into gnocchi, pasta, rice or root vegetable or potato dishes.
Now, aren’t you a little hungry for some pumpkin butter in all its glorious goodness in your life?
Here are five (5) recipes on the blog incorporating pumpkin butter that you might enjoy:
Best Ever Pumpkin Spice French Toast with Bourbon (with dairy free option)
Best Ever Pumpkin Blondies (with gluten free option)
Pumpkin Pecan Pie Granola (with gluten free option)
Pumpkin Cheesecake White Hot Cocoa (with vegan option)
Pumpkin Pie Martini Cocktail (top shelf style)
Truly, I hope you will follow our lead in enjoying all-season Homemade Pumpkin Butter to not only bid farewell to winter but welcome spring with open arms during the Maple Syrup Harvest!
How do you enjoy pumpkin butter?
P.S. Quite often, I get asked here on the blog and via email about canning Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce and Homemade Key Lime Curd. Since I know many of my readers would like to know the reasons why this is unsafe, I have included some information below as to why canning pumpkin butter is not safe.
Why Canning Is Not Recommended For Pumpkin Butter
Home canning is not recommended for pumpkin butter or any mashed or pureed pumpkin or winter squash. In 1989, the USDA’s Extension Service published the Complete Guide to Home Canning, which remains the basis of Extension recommendations today, found in the September 1994 revision. The only directions for canning pumpkin and winter squash are for cubed pulp. In fact, the directions for preparing the product include the statement, “Caution: Do not mash or puree.”
It is true that previous USDA recommendations had directions for canning mashed winter squash, but USDA withdrew those recommendations and any publications preceding the Complete Guide to Home Canning (September 1994) are considered out of date.
Some of the factors that are critical to the safety of canned pumpkin products are the viscosity (thickness), the acidity and the water activity. Studies conducted at the University of Minnesota in the 1970’s indicated that there was too much variation in viscosity among different batches of prepared pumpkin purees to permit calculation of a single processing recommendation that would cover the potential variation among products (Zottola et. al, 1978). Pumpkin and winter squash are also low-acid foods (pH>4.6) capable of supporting the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria which can cause the very serious illness, botulism, under the right storage conditions. If the bacteria are present and survive processing, and the product has a high enough water activity, they can thrive and produce toxin in the product.
More recent research with pumpkin butter has been done at the University of Missouri. Pumpkin butter is mashed or pureed pumpkin that has had large quantities of sugar added to it, but not always enough to inhibit pathogens. Sometimes an ingredient such as vinegar or lemon juice is added to the formulation to increase the acidity (decrease the pH). However, pumpkin butters produced by home canners and small commercial processors in Missouri have had pH values as high as 5.4. In fact, the pH values seemed to be extremely variable between batches made by the same formulation (Holt, 1995).
It is not possible to evaluate a recipe for pumpkin or mashed squash for canning potential by looking at it. At this point, research seems to indicate variability of the products is great, and in several ways that raise safety concerns. It is best to freeze pumpkin butters or mashed squash.
Below are Pinterest-friendly sized images to pin at Pinterest!
- 1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin purée or solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml) 100% pure apple juice (no sugar added) or apple cider
- 2 teaspoons fine-quality ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon freshly grated whole nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Variations:For Bourbon Pumpkin Butter: Add 1 tablespoon bourbon (or favorite whiskey) before cooking pumpkin butter. For Paleo Pumpkin Butter: Replace sugars with 1 cup (or to taste) coconut palm sugar, organic maple sugar, raw honey or pure maple syrup. For Vegan Pumpkin Butter: Replace sugars with 1 cup (or to taste) vegan sugar, coconut palm sugar, organic maple sugar, pure maple syrup or agave nectar. For Thick-Style Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter: Place all ingredients except lemon juice in crockpot and stir until well combined. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until desired thickness. To prevent scorching, sticking and burning, stir every 90 minutes. Transfer to bowl and stir in lemon juice. Cool completely. Cover airtight and store in refrigerator. Makes 3 to 4 cups (depending on thickness). For Stove Top Pumpkin Butter: In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except lemon juice. Cook over medium-high heat and bring mixture to a boil. (Be careful as the mixture will bubble and splatter.) Once the mixture reaches a full boil, reduce heat to medium-low and carefully cover loosely with a lid allowing a small amount of steam to escape as well as protect the cooktop and hands from hot splatter. Continue to simmer the mixture, stirring frequently to prevent burning or scorching, until thickened, about 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to bowl and stir in lemon juice. Cool completely. Cover airtight and store in refrigerator. Makes about 4 to 5 cups (depending on thickness). Tips: Pumpkin butter will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Pumpkin butter may be frozen for long-term storage and will keep when tightly sealed and wrapped for 6 to 12 months. If freezing, be sure to label and date the package. For especially bright apple flavor notes, use a crushing or masticating juicer to make fresh squeezed apple juice from red skinned apples, such as Honeycrisp apples, and use in place of purchased apple juice or apple cider. For pumpkin butter with more molasses flavor and deeper color, use all or part dark brown sugar. Canning is not recommended for pumpkin butter due to the low acid content. Recipe Adapted From: AllRecipes.com
Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.