Instant Pot Spiced Pumpkin Butter tickles your tongue with the traditional warm spices and the double-ginger duo of fresh minced ginger and ginger beer! Made with roasted pumpkin, this delightful, creamy pumpkin butter elevates a humble piece of toast, and makes a great addition to a fall cocktail...
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.~~ from the letters of George Eliot
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
The glories of autumn... I would wager a guess a majority of my acquaintances favor autumn over any other season. 🙂 Its sights and smells prove hard to beat!
Nothing "speaks" to autumn more profoundly than pumpkin. Am I not right? I am not one for an
overly sweet pumpkin spice latte, and I rarely indulge in desserts. I do, however LOVE pumpkin! I recently created this recipe for Double (Fresh) Ginger Pumpkin Custard Ice Cream. My husband insists it "tastes like the best pumpkin pie ever." I won't argue. 😆
Pumpkin Barley Risotto and Vegetarian Pumpkin Posole are two vegetarian fall favorites at Andersen casa. I am trying to "diversify" my recipes beyond my comfort zone (savory mains and sides), and in this spirit of adventure, I started playing with pumpkin butter.
🎃 About Pumpkin Butter
Does "pumpkin butter" contain butter? Short answer: NO. I did do some research, and came up empty-handed. 😞I can only guess how pumpkin "butter" - and other fruit butters like apple - got the name. Perhaps the term butter refers to its thick, spreadable consistency?
The follow-up question: Is pumpkin butter healthy? This question is harder to answer. I submit that relatively speaking, homemade pumpkin butter is healthy. And vegan and gluten free.
Homemade condiments in general contain no impossible-to-pronounce additives and preservatives, and the cook controls the quality of the ingredients (and the amount of sugar). Most recipes I've seen, though, start with canned pumpkin purée, but I opted to start with fresh roasted pumpkin. Yes, it's a bit more work, but totally worth it IMHO!
Fresh Pumpkin or Canned Purée?
Well, canned purée is a great time saver, and I have on occasion gone that route. I still use my Instant Pot or stove top pressure cooker to obtain that delicious, slow-cooked flavor and consistency. I give the pumpkin butter the same 10 minutes under pressure to meld the spices and ginger with the pumpkin, but the roasting time is cut out entirely (30-40 minutes).
Breaking down a pumpkin is annoying (maybe even anger-producing?). I hate it. However, I'm always pleased with the end result when I opt to use fresh pumpkin over the canned. Canned is fine in pumpkin muffins or pancakes, but this Instant Pot Pumpkin Butter features pumpkin, and really benefits from fresh.
I take the process a step further by roasting the pumpkin. Because the pumpkin is roasted, the time in the pressure cooker is reduced. A side benefit of roasting the pumpkin is that you can leave the skin on the pumpkin, and roast the cleaned halves cut side up until it begins to caramelize.
I'm all about layering flavors, and you may already know I'm a big fan of the maillard reaction and the complexity it brings to food. Roasting vegetables is my "go to" for maximizing flavor. See Why Roasting Makes Vegetables Taste Sweeter.
🍂 Ginger Twice
I may have a love affair with ginger. It certainly find its way into a lot of my food. I do NOT keep ground ginger in my well-stocked pantry, opting instead to use fresh ginger. I do cheat a little in keeping a big jar (purchased at my Asian grocery) of minced fresh ginger in my refrigerator. No excuses. It is no more trouble to measure out a spoonful of fresh minced than it is that flavorless powder!
Of course you can grate ginger root if you prefer. I have been known to pull a piece of frozen ginger from my freezer, scrape the skin, and grate it with a microplane. Please don't substitute powdered ginger!
The surprise ingredient in my Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Butter is a 12 ounce bottle of ginger beer. You can use either alcoholic or non-alcoholic ginger beer; it's the extra layer of ginger flavor we're after in this recipe. Note: Ginger beer is naturally gluten free. (See Is Ginger Beer Gluten Free).
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- pumpkin - You have 3 options: 1. Roast a fresh pumpkin. It will add about 45 minutes. 2. Use fresh pumpkin, but don't roast it. 3. Use pumpkin purée you have frozen and thawed, or canned. Don't you love options?
- oil - Choose a neutral oil to brush the pumpkin with prior to roasting.
- maple syrup
- brown sugar
- ginger - You have 2 options. Grate fresh ginger or scoop from a jar of minced ginger (typically found in the Asian foods section). Please don't use powdered ginger.
- cinnamon sticks
- nutmeg - Fresh grated nutmeg is awesome, but you can use ground nutmeg.
- ground allspice
- ground cloves
- ginger beer - Ginger beer comes in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions.
Now that we've got that settled, what are you waiting for? Let's make a batch of Instant Pot Spiced Pumpkin Butter! This recipe makes about 6 cups (give or take). I store it in mason jars - 1 in the fridge, and 2 in the freezer. It's fine refrigerated for a couple of weeks.
- Roast the pumpkin - Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 convection). Brush cut sides of pumpkin with the oil. Roast until tender when pierced with a fork (about 30-40 minutes).
- Prepare the pumpkin butter mixture - Scoop the flesh from the pumpkin skin into the pressure cooker using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon. Add the remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot.
- Cook the pumpkin butter - Cook 10 minutes under high pressure. Do a natural release for 10 minutes (meaning allow it to sit undisturbed). Release the remaining pressure.
- Finish the pumpkin butter - Remove cinnamon sticks. Using an immersion blender, puree the pumpkin butter until very smooth.
For fresh ginger flavor without the effort, keep grated fresh ginger on hand. Find it in the Asian foods section of your local market or on Amazon.
Skip peeling the pumpkin, cut it in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, fibers, and stem. Roast, then scoop the caramelized tender flesh from the skin.
Sniff the cinnamon sticks, if they don't smell strongly of cinnamon, add an extra one or two. Don't forget to remove them prior to blending.
If you just can't bear the thought of breaking down the whole, fresh pumpkin, use 6 cups of canned purée without spices.
Make sure you use ginger beer (non-alcoholic is fine). Ginger ale is not a good substitute!
Store 1-2 weeks (if it lasts that long!) in the refrigerator, or freeze in zip bags 2-3 months. I usually put it into 3 mason jars. 1 goes in the refrigerator, and 2 go in the freezer.
No. I've actually skipped the roasted pumpkin and substituted 6 cups of pumpkin purée - both canned or pumpkin purée that I've frozen and thawed.
🎃 Ideas for Using Pumpkin Butter
- on whole grain toast
- in a sandwich with bananas and peanut butter or leftover turkey
- mix it into plain or vanilla yogurt
- top granola
- in a Pumpkin Kentucky Mule
- in a pumpkin quick bread
- in a savory pumpkin butter tart
- in pumpkin sangria with bourbon