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Indulge in the rich, smoky flavors of homemade smoked pumpkin butter; a unique twist on a classic fall favorite.
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Table of Contents
What is pumpkin butter?
To start, it’s not butter at all. Similar to other fruit butters like apple butter, it’s a sweet and creamy spread made from cooked-down fruit that’s spiced with warm fall flavors.
While you can make pumpkin butter with canned pumpkin, it’s even better when you start with a fresh pumpkin and smoke it on the grill over applewood or pecan wood.
People often sweeten pumpkin butter with ingredients like sugar, maple syrup, or honey.
My recipe is a little unique in that I use dark brown sugar, maple syrup, apple cider and eggnog. Eggnog is flavored with warm spices and a touch of vanilla extract.
Instead of buying individual jars of fall spices like ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice, I recommend using pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice. It’s more economical.
- Sugar Pumpkin: These are cute small round pumpkins. They’re usually only available at the grocery store in October and November. They also go by the name sweet pumpkin, sugar pie pumpkins and pumpkin pie pumpkin.
- Brown Sugar: I use dark brown sugar for a richer flavor.
- Eggnog: This is a fall staple for virtually every sweet pumpkin and sweet potatoes recipe I make. It’s a delicious way to add even more holiday magic to your favorite fall recipes.
- Apple Cider: You can also use apple juice.
- Pure Maple Syrup: While you can use the fake stuff, pure maple syrup will really accentuate the natural pumpkin flavor.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Kosher Salt
Substitutions: If you don't have time to smoke a fresh pumpkin, you can make pumpkin butter with a canned pumpkin. Just skip the smoking and blending steps. Be sure you use pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. The filling is pre-sweetened.
See the full recipe card below for servings and a full list of ingredients.
How to make smoked pumpkin butter
Preheat your grill or smoker to 350F degrees with an indirect heat zone. Applewood and pecan wood chips or wood pellets work great with this recipe.
- STEP ONE: Carefully, cut the pumpkin in half. Use a spoon to scrape out the guts and seeds.
PRO TIP: Save the pumpkin seeds to make Smoked Bacon Pumpkin Seeds.
- STEP TWO: Place the two pumpkin halves on the grill over indirect heat cut side up. Smoke for one hour.
- STEP THREE: After one hour, the pumpkin flesh should be soft and fork-tender.
PRO TIP: I use an instant-read digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of my pumpkins. When they reach 205-210F degrees they're ready.
- STEP FOUR: Use a spoon to remove the cooked pumpkin from the skin and place it in a blender or food processor with 1/4 cup of water. Discard the skin. Purée the pumpkin, until it’s smooth. Add more water if it seems too dry.
- STEP FIVE: Place the fresh pumpkin puree in a medium sauce pot on the stove top over medium heat with the eggnog, brown sugar, syrup, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Bring to a boil.
- STEP SIX: Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
How to serve smoked pumpkin butter
Spread pumpkin butter on English muffins, toast or homemade biscuits, or try it on French toast and pancakes.
The pumpkin spread is also great on a fall charcuterie board with jams, crackers and cream cheese.
Once the pumpkin butter has cooled, store the sweet spread in a mason jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
This homemade pumpkin butter recipe makes for a great gift around the holidays. Each batch will yield two 8-ounce jars or four 4-ounce jars.
GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips
- For the best flavor, smoke a fresh sugar pumpkin
- Purée the smoked pumpkin with water
- Use eggnog to enhance the flavor
Frequently Asked Questions
Pumpkin butter tastes similar to pumpkin pie. However, instead of having a firm custard-like texture, it’s smooth and creamy like apple butter.
It’s best to store homemade pumpkin butter in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator. Enjoy it within two weeks.
This recipe for smoked pumpkin butter includes dairy because it incorporates eggnog. To make the recipe without dairy, substitute the eggnog with coconut milk, soy milk or apple cider.
Yes. Instead of smoking a fresh whole pumpkin, you can use a can of pumpkin puree. If you still want the smoke flavor, spread the canned pumpkin onto a baking sheet and smoke it for 30 minutes before cooking it in the pot with the other ingredients.
More Pumpkin Recipes
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Smoked Pumpkin Butter
- 1 sugar pumpkin
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup eggnog
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp apple cider or juice
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- pinch kosher salt
- Heat Grill: Heat your grill or smoker to 350F degrees with an indirect heat zone.
- Prep Pumpkin: Carefully, cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the guts and seeds.
- Smoke: Place the pumpkin halves on the grill, cut side up. Smoke for 1 hour or until the pumpkin flesh is fork tender.
- Puree: Using a spoon, scoop the pumpkin flesh from the skin. Discard the skin. Place the pumpkin in a blender or food processor with the water. Pulse until smooth.
- Simmer: Place the pumpkin puree and remaining ingredients in a medium sauce pot on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve: Serve warm or chilled on toast, biscuits, ice cream or any other treat that could use a pop of fall.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.