Wednesday, September 28, 2016

From the archives: Great Big Squash (and a pumpkin-butter recipe)

First posted September 2005. Since we have a butternut squash in the fridge, I might cook it tonight with some barley, for old time's sake.

Last weekend we went out to one of our favourite places that sells local produce (mostly grown right there). They still had great corn (we pressure-cooked it) and the most amazing butternut squash, some about as big as baseball bats, for $2 each. We bought one of the smaller "bats" and Mama Squirrel cooked up about half of it yesterday. Some of it got chopped into our dinner (a big casserole dish combining 1/2 cup pearl barley, 1 cup water, some chopped (raw) squash, four farmers' sausages, a sprinkle of salt and sage--baked until everything was done). Some of it got cut into chunks and cooked in another big casserole dish at the same time, then mashed. The mashed stuff then got made into a batch of pumpkin butter (which does work just about as well with butternut squash). 
Here's the recipe (it's originally from the Vegetarian Times Cookbook)You can halve it if you want just a small batch.

Pumpkin Butter

4 cups pureed pumpkin (or squash)
1/2 to 1 cup honey (or we have also used part brown sugar--it's to your own taste)
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 to 3 tbsp. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan and cook over low heat for 45-60 minutes, stirring often (and I find it takes longer than that, depending on how much you have and how hot you're cooking it). You'll know it's done when it's very thick, smooth, probably darker than you started with (pumpkin goes darker than squash), and it seems to pull away from the sides of the pot when you stir it. You can seal it in hot, sterilized canning jars, but we don't bother--we just keep it in the fridge. It's good on toast or muffins.


Cranberry Morning said...

I don't think I've ever eaten pumpkin butter, but it does sound good! I didn't plant squash this year, and kinda regret it. I do love butternut and buttercup.

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