Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bourbon Pumpkin Butter

Let me set the scene for you….It is 8:30am on a Monday morning.  I am wearing sweats, hair is not brushed, and of course, I am not wearing a smidge of make-up.  I pull up to the gas station/liquor store.  Paisley refused to get out of the car.  I force her to get out, so she is crying.  I go in…and I ask for a bottle of bourbon….I don’t care what brand.  In my head, I didn’t realize anything was amiss with this.  I was planning on making Bourbon Pumpkin Butter that day.  It wasn’t until I saw the look on the cashier’s face that I realized what I must look like……crying child, haggard mom, buying bourbon at 8am.  I felt that I had to explain to the cashier that it was for a recipe.  For some reason, I think that might have made it worse.  I probably came off as a lying drunk.   Do you see what I do for you people?  I might have just completely blown my rep in South Reno;)

Now that I have my liquor, I can tell you just how to make my Bourbon Pumpkin Butter.  I love this stuff.  It takes like pumpkin pie in a jar.  It can be used in so many different ways!  I love to give it as gifts too….so if you plan on seeing me this afternoon, plan on getting some pumpkin butter shoved at you.

Have you ever made a fruit butter?  They are super easy to make.  They don’t involve any pectin; you basically just cook it for a long time, stirring occasionally.  You can even do it in a slow cooker.  I will show you how I made my Bourbon Pumpkin Butter, and I will show you a couple of things to do with it.

I make a huge batch of this…it makes 8 cups.  If you want to cut the recipe in half, feel free.  I use 2 cans of pumpkin, 29 ounces each.  I also use the aforementioned bourbon, apple juice, sugar, nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger, and cinnamon.  Notice how classy my bottle of bourbon is?  Yep, that’s plastic. 

Everything gets dumped in a big pot.  I cook this for about 3 hours, over low to medium heat.  It has to be stirred every once in a while, but don’t get to crazy.

I also put a lid on it…kind of.  I leave the lid a little off kilter to keep the pumpkin from splashing out, but I don’t want it completely covered.  It needs to be exposed to the air to evaporate and thicken.  But if you don’t cover it mostly…it will sploosh out all over.  The way spaghetti sauce does…..

After 3 hours, it will be thickened and darker…..like this:

It will never have the consistency of a jam.  That isn’t what a fruit butter is.  It will be thick, but not thick like actual butter.  It will be like very thick applesauce.

Once important thing to know about pumpkin butter, is that it cannot be safely canned at home in a water bath.  It is due to its ph.  This must be kept in the fridge.  It will, however, keep for about a month in the fridge.

We needed to eat some immediately, so we ate it with butter cookies.  This is a perfect easy dessert, especially if you have unexpected, or expected, guests.  Take out a jar of Bourbon Pumpkin Butter and serve it as a dip for cookies.  Could.  Not.  Be.  Easier.

I also like to serve this butter warm, over vanilla ice cream…..

This really tastes just like pumpkin pie a la mode.  You will cry a little when you try this……it is that good.

I also like to make little Bourbon Pumpkin Butter Pies too.  I buy mini phyllo dough shells from the freezer section at the grocery store.  They are made by a company called “Athens”.  I put about 2 teaspoons of the butter in each shell, and I top that with whipped cream.  They taste just like pumpkin pie, but they are 10 times easier and 10 times cuter.

Right?  Super cute!  I would totally serve these at a holiday party.  They are a perfect finger food.

Like I said above, my recipe makes about 8 cups of fruit butter.  This is enough to feed your entire neighborhood.  Both the neighbors you like, and the ones you don’t like;)  Jars can be found at most grocery stores, hardware stores, the Walmartz and even Target.  Remember, you can’t “can” this, but you can still put it in a pretty jar, and stick it in the fridge.  Just remember to tell the people you give this to that it has to be refrigerated.

Wouldn’t you love to give this as holiday gifts?  If you have a spare 3 hours….you have to make this.  You might even have everything you need to make this already in your kitchen.  If you don’t have bourbon….make sure you look as gross as possible before you go to the liquor store.  The cashiers will like it.  They can talk about that unfit mom that bought bourbon at 8am.

Bourbon Pumpkin Butter

2 cans pumpkin puree, 29 ounces each

2 cups apple juice

1 cup bourbon

3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons nutmeg

In a large pot, stir together all ingredients.  Simmer, over low to medium heat, for 3 hours.  Keep pot slightly covered by placing lid on slightly askew.  Stir occasionally.  After 3 hours, mixture should be thickened and darker in color.

Keep in refrigerator.

Makes about 8 cups.


  1. OMG....that sounds so good!

  2. Can I tell you that you make me "LOL" every time I read your blog????

    Around these parts, they don't sell liquor at any ol' store or gas station. Nope. You have to go to a state-run liquor store. One time (and only once!), I needed some sort of alcohol and had a packed day of errands. Picking it up was first on my list. I found myself standing in front of the liquor store, w/ two small kids in tow, waiting for it to open. Let me tell you, my company on that sidewalk was top notch! :)