Dana Slatkin

Fresh Pumpkin Purée and Butter

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

One of my proudest farmgirl moments came a few weeks ago when I harvested sixteen robust, flaming-orange pumpkins from my front yard. Every Halloween, I would save a handful of pumpkin seeds from one of my children’s jack-o-lanterns, store them in a box, and plant them in the spring with high hopes. But I never managed to grow more than one lonely pumpkin until this year (thank you, global warming).

Once my little trick-or-treaters have hung up their costumes this weekend, my pumpkins will beckon for another purpose. But this time, I am emotionally attached. I simply cannot just toss them into the bin of yard waste. So, in the days to come, I will be making fresh purée, destined for a spiced-up slather on toast, or Heidi Swanson’s tantalizing Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup, or a sultry, quintessentially autumn pumpkin pie.

My PumpkinsNow I know you are thinking I am some compulsive Martha purist who won’t buy anything that comes in a can. But I have my reasons. Actually, with fall finally in the Southern California air, I am feeling more like Pioneer Woman, in the mood to wrangle my supper with my bare hands. As I butcher my pumpkins this week, picture me with a gleaming carving knife, earnestly slicing my little pumpkins’ crowns off. It is about as close as you will ever come to seeing this vegetarian butcher her dinner.


Try some hearty fall fare, our Farmers Market Vegetable Soup.

Photo credit: LiveWell360

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  1. airmax says:

    good blog post, i definitely love this web site, keep on it.

  2. lobitaroja says:

    Great recipe. Making my second batch now. Seems like this is the only recipe on Pinterest made from fresh pumpkins, which I had. Thanks for sharing. Debbie

  3. michele says:

    Have you tried roasting the squash instead of steaming? I actually do a combo steam/roast: half and seed the squash, place it cut side down in a foil-lined roasting pan, slide a few ice cubes under each half (safer and easier than trying to maneuver pan with water in it into the oven), cover and seal with foil, roast @ 400 until soft, then remove foil the allow squash to carmelize. The benefit to roasting, in addition to ease, is the sugar produced from the carmelization. In particular, I wonder if you could reduce or even eliminate the sweetener from the pumpkin butter. I make a similar item using kabocha — very sweet and dense — by roasting the squash, adding a pinch of salt and a dash of Chinese 5-spice, then cooking down the puree (I just use the microwave…Why does that make me feel guilty?). Yum.

  4. Dana Slatkin says:

    Love the ice cube trick! Great suggestions, Michele! Thanks so much for sharing.

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