I had a hard day today and needed a little stress relief. Cooking for me is just that, a way to release stress. Kneading a big ball of bread dough, cooking a big pot of soup or jam is one of the ways I escape the stress of the day and in the end, I have something I have created. This brings me satisfaction and a reward for my efforts. One of my favorite stress relievers is to make jam or fruit butters. Apple is one of my favorites and next in line is pumpkin butter. Apple butter and pumpkin butter brings to mind, Fall, one of my most favorite times of the year. I love the smells of my kitchen when I have a large pot of apple or pumpkin butter cooking. Since I usually cook great big batches, so that I have lots of jars to give to my family and friends, I had to reduce this recipe so that it made a more normal amount for those of you who do not cook jams, jellies or fruit butters for mass amounts of people. Here is a reduced recipe that will make just a few jars. I think you will like this. It is great on hot biscuits or toast.
3 cups of baked and pureed pumpkin
1 cup of maple syrup
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup strained lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. cloves
Place lids of 4 half pint jars in a pan of water and bring to a boil. Let sit in hot water until ready to use. Bring a stockpot half way filled with water to a boil and carefully place 4 half pint jars in the boiling water. Let sit in the water till ready to use.
In a kettle with a heavy bottom (I use an enameled cast iron kettle) combine all of the ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to boil. Cook stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. It will be dark and glossy looking and will smell wonderful.
Remove the jars from the stock pot and drain. Remove the pan of pumpkin butter from the heat and spoon into hot half pint jars to within 1/2 inch of the top. Top with a lid and screw on the band. Place jars in the canning rack and lower into the stockpot. Bring water back to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and cover stockpot. Let sit for another 5 minutes. Remove jars to a rack and allow to cool. Once cool tighten bands as need, label and store.