Sunday, November 4, 2007


Helen Witty has written several books, all of which are highly rated. This recipe is from "The Good Stuff Cookbook," and it's available new and used through Williams Sonoma sells a 13.5 oz. jar of pecan pumpkin butter for $10.00 made by Muirhead Foods, Ringoes, NJ, and has developed recipes for the product. When I was in the Williams Sonoma Knoxville store, they were giving out samples of a cake made with it, plus the recipe. The cake was delicious. When I got home, I searched the internet and came up with this recipe. There are some who think that Muirhead's inspiration for their pecan pumpkin butter came from Hellen Witty's recipe.

This recipe is a bit more involved than some other, simpler pumpkin butter recipes, but the texture and flavor are superior.  In my estimation, it's entirely worth the extra effort.

Helen Witty's Spiced Pecan & Pumpkin Butter, Adapted
Rating:  10 out of 10

zest of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon cut in wide strips with sharp knife
4 cups cooked fresh pumpkin and/or butternut squash (or 4 cups canned pumpkin + 1/4 cup water)
1-3/4 cup sugar 
3 Tbsp. strained fresh orange juice
3 Tbsp. strained fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. molasses
2-1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Peel the orange and lemon with a sharp knife in the widest, longest strips you can without the white part underneath (the pith). If you do cut some of the pith with the peel, scrape it off, because it is bitter and will ruin the preserve. Simmer the strips in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Do not boil the water. Drain, then mince the peels to a fine pulp. (I tried automating this by using my mini-blender, but it only took it down so far and left me with some chunks. So I still had to hand chop to get this down to a fine pulp. This is the hardest part of this recipe, and it's really not that hard if you have a sharp chopping knife. Measure out 1 Tbsp. of the pulp and discard or save the rest for something else.

In a 3-1/2 quart or larger heavy pot, combine all ingredients and mix well over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to combine ingredients, then lower heat to medium. Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring often, or till liquid stops forming when you stop stirring. Mixture should be very thick. Taste it. Adjust spices and sweetness if necessary, remembering that flavors will strengthen as it stands and cools. Stir in 1/3 cup toasted and finely chopped peacans or walnuts and cook for a few more minutes. Spoon into jars and seal.

Note: DO NOT TRY TO WATERBATH THIS!  It is not considered safe to do so. You can freeze it or refrigerate it. It will keep about 3 weeks in the fridge, longer in the freezer. If you give it as gifts, be sure you tell the recipient it must be refrigerated or frozen.


Anna said...

I love Helen Witty! Her "Big, Fat Cookie Book" is a fun read.

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