Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pecan Pumpkin Butter

After I wrote my post concerning all things Lucy, I realized that I forgot to mention the most important fact about my baby: The secret to calming her down. Whenever she is having a crying fit, the only thing that can quiet her (besides being held) is someone singing "This Old Man" to her. I know it sounds ridiculous, but this is in fact the truth.

Just ask my Mom. We were taking a two-hour long drive and about halfway through our trip, Lucy decided that she had had enough of her car seat. She started caterwauling and thrashing about in the back seat and I told Mom to start singing "This Old Man." She commented about how ridiculous that was but after another loud wail from Lucy, Mom started to sing away. Lucy calmed down immediately and actually fell asleep by the time the old man knick-knacked his way up to heaven. My Mom thought that was hilarious.

But in reality, it works every single time. We've tried getting her to like and appreciate less obnoxious songs, but her preference remains. So, if we want to enjoy a quiet trip walk in the park or drive in the car, we normally end up singing a round of "This Old Man" at some point along the way.

The recipe I want to share with you today is one that could certainly be eaten by a toothless old man. Pecan Pumpkin butter is a soft, sweet, and decadent spread that can be used in so many different ways. My personal favorite is swirling a huge spoonful into my morning oatmeal. It definitely turns a boring old bowl of mush into something a little more special. This recipe is a knock-off of the pumpkin butter sold by Williams-Sonoma. The flavor - a remarkable combination of pumpkin spice, toasted pecans, and hints of orange - comes pretty close to matching theirs. If you are looking for a different pumpkin butter recipe to try this fall, consider this one!

Pecan Pumpkin Butter
from Confections of a Foodie Bride

1/2 cup chopped pecans
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1/2 orange
3 Tbsp orange juice
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
15 oz canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spread pecans on a baking sheet and roast for 7 minutes, until browned and fragrant.Run the pecans through the food processor until finely ground and the nuts have begun to release their oil and take on a "pasty" consistency.

In a 2-qt sauce pan over medium heat, combine the citrus zests and juices and dark brown sugar. Stir until warmed. Add pumpkin, nuts, and spices and reduce heat to low, simmering for 20-30 minutes, until thickened and the color darkens.

Stir and taste for seasoning and sweetness occasionally, adding additional spices as necessary.

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