It was back in December when, in a stroke of (quite common) “I wonder what would happen if I put this together…” glory, I discovered the surprising satisfaction of pairing pumpkin butter with strawberries.*
*Out of season, yes…but shockingly sweet. That’s why the Smart women love Costco!As is my usual custom, I mulled over this combination for months (literally) until I found myself with a nearly-full pint of almost-overripe strawberries…..and a can of price-reduced pumpkin.There was obviously only one thing left to do:
Make pumpkin butter!
Of course, this is not just any pumpkin butter. This is Strawberry Pumpkin Butter: sweet, yet savory, and perfect for transitoning your rich winter favorite into springy brightness. [Also, it's a rather 'weird upon initial contemplation' recipe, making it perfect for a rather Freaky Friday.]
(So it likes to hang out on the window sill when it’s not chillin’ in the fridge. Don’t judge.)
The method is simple: just combine pumpkin, berries, and applesauce into a food processor, with a bit of brown, sucanat, or demerara sugar, vanilla extract, and any spice you like. [Since the first time I tried the combination, I also had some Cinnamon Faux-st cereal on top, I went with cinnamon and nutmeg...and maybe a pinch of ginger.]
Note: I used Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin, which I generally find to be a bit ‘thinner’ than the traditional generic brand or Libby’s. You might need to add more applesauce (or not cook it as long later for reduction purposes) to get the right consistency.
Pour the strawberry pumpkin mixture into a saucepan over loooooooooow heat. (You definitely want to stir regularly so as not to ‘burn the buttah.’*)
*I put that in quotes like it’s a famous saying or something. It isn’t. Until NOW.It will do the whole gloop! glop! glip! onomontapeaic gurgling thing as it thickens. (Yes, you can alliteratively giggle.)After about 20 minutes or so, pour out the butter into another bowl to cool, where it will continue to thicken up a bit. I guess you could just put it into a jar, but leaving it out to cool gives you another excuse to scrape it out of something into something else, meaning you get to lick the spatula again. It also makes it exposed for easy dipping, whether with apples, your fingers, or the salty surprise of a pretzel or pita chip.As for how to eat it, well, aside from a dip or spoonfuls taken straight from the fridge with the door wide open, you can use it as you would any other pumpkin butter. (I’m pretty sure it would make a great PB + PB sandwich.) For me, though, that usually means oatmeal.Sweet black grapes and Simply Oats Love Grown Granola are all the extra oomph you need.
Strawberry Pumpkin Butter
- 1 14 oz. can pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
- 2 Tbsp. demerara, sucanat, or other brown sugar
- 1 /2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
- Process until smooth.
- Transfer mixture to a thick-bottomed sauce pan.
- Cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes, until butter has thickened up quite a bit.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool before storing in the fridge.