I think I'm driving my husband nuts. I can't stop talking about (and making) pumpkin recipes. In fact, pumpkin recipes have invaded my life. I have several hand-written notes around my office and throughout my home. Then there are long lists in my recipe development notebook and reminders in my phone to make them. Our pillow talk has turned into pumpkin recipe brainstorm sessions. I think I reached the limit, because earlier last week my husband downright told me he is sick of pumpkin.
The ironic, yet not surprising, thing about my husband's anti-pumpkin rants is the fact that he is eating his words. I don't think I ate all that pumpkin bread myself, or what about those pumpkin no-bake cookies and that batch of savory pumpkin muffins? Humm...who is sick of pumpkin now?
I have since forgiven my sweetheart of talking so ill of fall's greatest gift, and I'm happy to share my most recent pumpkin recipe concoction. It's a twist on Pumpkin Butter, using star anise as a side-kicking spice next to a nice dose of freshy-fresh ground cinnamon and nutmeg. You'll love it.
Pumpkin butter is essentially pumpkin puree reduced down to ultra-thickness, like butter. It's often spiced and combined with apple juice or cider and sugar. I knew I'd go with traditional cinnamon, and a heavy dose at that, especially considering it was freshly ground. But I wanted to experiment with more spices. I searched my spice drawer but nothing felt right. Then I caught a glimpse of star anise. I buy star anise, for the sole purpose of making Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup and that's it. But I love its strong anise-like flavor...and knew it would pair well in this pumpkin butter that features cinnamon.
The result was perfectly spiced pumpkin butter. If you've had pumpkin butter, you'll love this and you'll notice there's something quite special about my recipe. And that would be the star anise, folks. It's lovely. You can spread pumpkin butter on toast, cornbread (as shown), eat it plain, as a topping on ice cream, oatmeal, you name it. It's your spread for the fall. I hope you'll give this pumpkin butter a try. It's so easy to make and fragrantly delicious. Even my pumpkin-bored husband loves it.
Pumpkin Butter with Cinnamon & Star Anise
by Becky of Project Domestication
29 oz. pumpkin puree ( 3 1/2 c.)
1 TB vanilla bean paste
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt (such as fleur de sel)
2 tsp. freshly ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 star anise
1 c. fresh apple juice (preferably home juice or local)
Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan and stir well to combine over medium-high heat. Bring to a jiggly-looking boil then reduce heat. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring attentively until pumpkin mixture has thickened and darkened in color. Taste and adjust spices if necessary (I didn't need to add any additional spices at all.) Serve now, or later.
*Stores well in refrigerator for a week-ish. The flavor is even better after a 24 hour chill. The anise really pops out after the chill.
Other pumpkin recipes you may like:
Spiced Pumpkin & Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies on Project Dometication
Roast Pumpkin & Kale Lasagna on Mountain Mamma Cooks
Biscoff Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies on Two Peas and Their Pod