In late July, when a mysterious, creeping sugar pumpkin vine emerged from my compost pile, I started thinking about the strange fruit and how to get it from gourd to glass. The answer? Pumpkin butter.
8 sugar pumpkins; 1 1/2 cups Dr. Pepper (or something cola-esque); 1 1/2 cups brown sugar; 2 cups table sugar; 1 tbsp. freshly grated cinnamon (or cassia); 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg; 1/2 tsp. whole cloves; 1/2 tsp. allspice (grind the cloves and allspice in a spice grinder)
Cut the tops off of eight sugar pumpkins and cut them in half. Remove the seeds. Roast them face down on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for one hour, or until the flesh can be easily scraped from the shell. Allow them to cool, then scrape out the flesh, yielding about 3 to 4 quarts. In a pot, add the rest of the ingredients. Bring them to a boil, then simmer for about an hour on low heat. Run the butter through a Vitamix in batches until it’s smooth.
Yes, Mr. Washington
1 1/2 oz. Laird’s Applejack or Bonded apple brandy; 1 tbsp. pumpkin butter; 1 oz. cider reduction (apple cider reduced to one-third volume plus a pinch of sugar); 1/4 oz. lemon juice; 1/2 oz. egg white
Dry shake without ice, shake with ice, double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe and garnish with nutmeg.