I would love to know what scents evoke the joy of the holidays for you?
As a kid over the holiday breaks, I remember being excited to wake up the day after Thanksgiving before everyone else because that meant I would get first dibs on the leftover pies. But as always the delicious smell of coffee brewing in the kitchen would awaken me and that was an indicator that my father already beat me to the pumpkin pie.
So I would stumble to the kitchen barely awake and as I imagined there was my father at the table enjoying some leftover pumpkin pie with his big mug of coffee. Nothing evokes the joy of the holidays like sharing memories with family over some pumpkin goodness.
I was never smart enough, to just hide a piece of pumpkin pie the night before but I enjoyed the mornings with my dad over pumpkin pie and coffee. If you haven’t clued in for me it’s pumpkin that brings joy to my holidays. I love all things pumpkin: pie, cookie, bread, coffee, sauce, spread, ice cream….
Now for the delicious recipe! When I make this, Caramel Pumpkin Butter, in the crock pot I seriously want to lick the walls. The smell of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves slowly cooking in the kitchen for hours is nostalgic and brings such lovely memories of holidays from my childhood and not to mention awakens all of my hunger senses. The lovely thing about this recipe is that it’s so easy! You can make tons of it and gift it to teachers, friends, family members… The kids can help with gutting the pumpkin, chopping and adding spices.
Caramel Pumpkin Butter (crock pot recipe)
- 1 Pumpkin medium to large diced into chunks (to gut pumpkin see examples: here the kids will love helping with this) If you’re in Ecuador it’s called zapallo and you can find it chopped in bags at the grocery store or the whole thing at the market.
- 3/4 cup apple juice
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cp granulated sugar
- 1/2 -3/4 cps of caramel (apple dipping kind you can usually find it in the produce section)
- 2 tsp ginger
- Combine all ingredients in crock pot (except caramel).
- Set on high for 4 hours or if you crock pot cooks faster than keep your eye on it earlier.
- Let cool to room temperature and add the caramel to your liking to the mix.
- Puree in blender for a smooth pumpkin butter. (The picture below is what it looks like not pureed, some people prefer it chunky.)
- Pack into storage containers and refrigerate for up to a month or frozen for up to 6 months. You can use it on bread, ice cream, pork chops, cookies….
We love to spread caramel pumpkin butter over warm Brioche bread!