Apple & Bourbon Pumpkin Butter


With us in early winter I was pleasantly surprised that I still had one large pumpkin hanging around refusing to give into the cold.

After breaking down the very last fall pumpkin I produced: curry roasted pumpkin seeds, two bags of squash were cubed and frozen, half of the pumpkin was roasted and split for dinner and soup, the rest of it was hunked up put into the crock pot for this pumpkin butter.

I made this with the intention to waterbath can it at home but found that I was once again out of glass jars. I did have a few empty freezer jars so I into the freezer it went. Freezing is the recommended way to store pumpkin butter because it is so thick and typically low acid but I hate that it takes up valuable freezer space that I would rather use for local meat.

I  use my crock-pot for making fruit butters. The slow cooker is perfect for all day simmering on the “back burner”, and because I am down-right lazy, I also use a stick blender to achieve a smooth consistency (as oppose to a food mill or mesh strainer).

Truthfully the hardest part of this pumpkin butter is that you have to peel and hunk it all up.

Eat this super yummy seasonal spread on toast & muffins.

Apple & Bourbon Pumpkin Butter

  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into1-2” pieces
  • Approx 12 cups* of pumpkin (or other winter squash) seeded, peeled and cut into 1-2” pieces
  • 3/4c packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4c water
  • 2Tb lemon juice
  • 2T ground cinnamon
  • 1ts ground clove
  • 1ts ground nutmeg
  • 1/2t ground allspice
  • 1/3c Bourbon whiskey

Combine everything except the bourbon into the crock-pot and cook on high for 2 hours or until the fruit is soft. Stir occasionally. Turn the heat to low and, using a stick blender, puree until smooth. Allow sauce to reduce over night or until it becomes a thick butter. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more spices to liking.I was aiming for a pumpkin pie taste.

Turn crock pot to high and stir in bourbon. Allow to cook further until most of the liquid has evaporated and can be stirred back into the butter.

Pack pumpkin butter into jars, checking for air bubbles and store in the refrigerator for 4-6 months or freeze for up to a year.

*fill the crock-pot. To achieve a sweeter more pumpkiny taste, use sugar or pie pumpkins. I used an heirloom jack-o-lantern type with very tasty results.

Yields approx 2 pints