pumpkin butter + pepita granola

As if Alex and I weren’t lucky enough to win a trip to Napa Valley for a two-day grilling class on the stunning COPIA campus in August, we also got to meet Elise of Simply Recipes fame. Not only is she as warm, kind and knowledgeable as she comes off on her site, she’s one of those types of people who reach into their bag two minutes after having met you and proffers up a homemade gift, in this case, apple butter made from the early apples grown in her own backyard. “What’s a backyard?” Alex and I asked her, wide-eyed and baffled. Elise smiled politely.

apple butter apple juice

We ate it with a spoon, and I don’t mean weeks later; I’m talking about when we arrived back that Tuesday night near midnight. I confess that apple butter is one of these things I hadn’t known about growing up. Amusingly, my first knowledge of us came from watching Oprah shortly after her first or second major weight loss, and she told her audience that one of her secrets had been apple butter instead of regular butter on her morning toast. Needless to say, I was dubious that anything could take the place of real butter and the idea of trying apple butter fell largely to the back of my mind until that Tuesday night.

And oh my god, it was just phenomenal. Thick, gooey and lavishly spiced, it was like fall had exploded in our kitchen, and I vowed between spoonfuls that we would go apple picking and make an enormous batch of our own from Elise’s recipe this fall.

pumpkin butter pumpkin butter

Well, not to be anticlimactic, but we haven’t been apple picking yet, yet when I saw that Shutterbean had gushed about Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter this weekend, I remembered the remainder of the can of pumpkin puree from the bread pudding lingering in my refrigerator, more or less going to waste due to my indecision about what to make with it. Considering how dearly I missed Elise’s apple butter, this was an easy-peasy choice.

Pumpkin butter is ridiculously easy to make, taking hours less than its tree-ripened cousin, mostly because you can start with puree from a can. Now, if you haven’t had apple or pumpkin butter before, you’ll probably find it very sweet, which it is. But I happen to think of it more like a jam, or something you would dollop on pancakes or waffles or vanilla ice cream or your plain morning yogurt.

granola dried fruit collection

Which also brings me to my favorite granola recipe. I mentioned it for the first time last year, but due to the discovery a store this weekend that sells nuts and dried fruits galore in bulk and for far less than most gouging stores in NYC, I knew it was a sign it was time to make it again. Below, I have updated the recipe a bit with some adjustments and advice culled from practice, and comments from you.

And then tomorrow for breakfast, I want you to throw a cup of plain Greek yogurt, with or without a drop of vanilla extract swirled in, a few spoonfuls of granola and a dollop of pumpkin butter in your work bag and feast on this in your cubicle tomorrow instead of the routine. Believe me, the view will be much better from there.

yogurt with pepita granola and pumpkin butter

One year ago: Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Butter
Adapted from AllRecipes

1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree, approx. 3 1/2 cups
3/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Juice of half a lemon

Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to taste. Stir in lemon juice, or more to taste. Once cool, pumpkin butter can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

To preserve: Whoops! It turns out, pumpkin butter is not safe to can. Into the fridge or freezer it goes! Confused? Read more here.

Adapted from Calle Ocho, New York City

In the couple years I have been making my own granola, I have learned a few things that I hope will help you too. The first is that I think most recipes have too much oil, and that gets in the way of clumping. I am updating the recipe to include less of it. The second is that it burns very quickly, so just because I can get away with 30 minutes baking time in my oven doesn’t mean that it won’t over-toast in 20 in yours. I’d suggest you check it every five minutes after the 15 minute mark. Finally, and this is the hardest-learned advice I can give: keep it in the freezer. Granola, even in an airtight container, actually especially in an airtight container, gets soft after a couple days. In the freezer, it stays crisp and crunchy indefinitely, and also extends the shelf life to months.

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sliced almonds (1 oz)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup green (hulled) pumpkin seeds, sometimes called pepitas (1 1/2 oz; not roasted)
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup mild honey
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch salt (flaky sea salt is wonderful in here)

1 cup tart dried cherries
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried pears (1/4 inch dice)
1/2 cup diced dried apricots (1/4 inch dice)
1/3 cup golden raisins
— or —
2 3/4 cups mixed dried fruit of your choice (I used pears, figs and tart cherries)

Accompaniment: Sliced bananas; plain yogurt flavored with vanilla extract, pumpkin or apple butter

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Stir together all ingredients except the fruit in a large bowl until combined. Spread mixture evenly on a large (17-by 12-inch) shallow baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes, but checking every five minutes after the 15-minute mark because it burns quickly. Transfer granola, in pan, to rack to cool stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Stir in dried fruit.

Granola keeps, frozen (the fruit’s moisture softens granola if not kept frozen) in an airtight container, a few months.

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120 comments on pumpkin butter + pepita granola

  1. Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter is to die for…. My favorite use is to swirl it in non-fat vanilla yogurt! So rich, so creamy, so healthy! I hadn’t thought about ever making my own so thanks for the shove with that delectable picture of tomorrow’s breakfast. :) I’ll raise my bowl to you!

  2. ms.v.

    Ok, they all look delicious, but today, with your suggestion to bring this to work, I am out of my mind with pleasure. Can. Not. Wait. To. Try. One thing: as an avid (read: obsessive) canning enthusiast, I am wondering what the final volume of pumpkin butter was so I know how many jars to collect. I can’t imagine it will last that long, but you never know.

  3. deb

    This is where I confess that I only made 2/3 of the recipe, because that’s the amount of pumpkin I had left, but I am pretty sure it yields almost exactly the amount of pumpkin you put in, or 3.5 cups if you use the whole big can. Let me know if this is not the case for you, though, so I don’t misinform further. Thx!

  4. RA

    I am dying to try the pumpkin butter recipe, especially since I picked up pumpkin to make a cheesecake tonight and they only had whopping vats of it left. But, uh, what if someone – hypothetically, of course – wanted to avoid the whole-jam-jar-canning-lid-popping experience? Is there no other alternative?

  5. can’t wait to try this recipe. i’ll attempt when i’m done licking the jar of the trader joe’s version ;) btw, they recommend putting cream cheese on your toast & then topping it with the pumpkin butter. oooooh yeah! guess who’s trying that next!!!????

  6. oh! i also had half a can of pumpkin puree leftover in my fridge. I added it to my chicken tikka masala and added chopped yams in with the mixture. So good! There’s just something so gratifying about using leftover scraps for another masterpiece.

  7. I’ve been enjoying TJ’s pumpkin butter for the last few days that is of course after smuggling it on a plane back to Upstate NY from DC because we are not lucky enough to have a TJ’s anywhere in our vicinity.

    And RE: the granola. Thank you for mentioning the freezing thing. Last year I made granola and felt compelled to eat all of it myself for fear that it would go bad. Let’s just say that vast quantities of granola aren’t really good for one’s insides and leave it at that.

  8. Don’t I spy figs in your granola?? Are you holding out on us…omitting 1 ingredient so that we can’t QUITE make it as good as yours? I just discovered Greek yogurt a few months ago. I can’t believe that I went my whole life not eating it.

  9. Mmm! I LOVE Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter. I need to get some more before the season is over. I’ve been enjoying it with peanutbutter on bread, suprisingly.

    Good idea for your left over puree. I had some left over after the bread pudding I made (your recipe), and put some in pancakes. Awesome.

  10. First of all, that last picture is my idea of breakfast perfection. It’s like your camera peered into my brain. And the recipes themselves look great, so it’s pretty much guaranteed I’ll be making at least one of them soon. Oh, and I agree that most granola recipes use waaaay too much oil. What’s great about granola are the big, fat clumps!

  11. lemongrass

    The photo of the granola on the yogurt makes me weep it’s so beautiful. This is definitely on my to-make list for the weekend. And Greek yogurt…now that’s food of the gods. Thanks for the great ideas!

  12. Mmm. I didn’t understand your comment about the granola getting soft until the very end…I never put dried fruit IN the granola, though sometimes I add some when I’m eating it.

    And Bazzini’s on-line? I think heaven has arrived. It’s not a holiday without a 5# bag of pistachios.

  13. Oh, I discovered Bazzini’s a few years ago (killing time before the Tribeca film fest), but I’d completely forgotten about it, thanks for the reminder.
    Should you have leftover pepitas (especially those tamari pepitas, so addictive), they make mazing pumpkin seed brittle. There’s a Gourmet recipe that’s delicious.

  14. Sue

    Good Lord! How could you have never had apple butter growing up on the Eastern Seaboard/ in the NY metro area!? Thank goodness that’s been taken care of. Pear butter is also lovely and easy to make, and I heartily second the yumminess of Trader Joes Pumpkin butter. (I am very grateful that I no longer need to smuggle that into NY what with these new fangled TSA rules etc….)

  15. Hey, I have pumpkin puree in my fridge right now too! I don’t know why, but I’m too scared to “jar” anything. *sigh* So this Bazzini store, you think the dried fruits and nuts are cheaper than Trader Joe’s?

  16. Hah! LOL. Thanks Deb, that weekend grilling workshop was so much fun. I’m delighted that you enjoyed the apple butter and it inspired you to make pumpkin butter. I love pumpkin butter! Know what’s even better? Prune butter. A certain blogging friend in Paris brought me some. It’s outta dis world. Gotta love food blogging friends who share their canning adventures with their friends!

  17. heatherk

    Incredible coincidence??? – just this morning I bought store bought granola ‘Organic- orange infused wholegrain granola with cranberries’ from Marks and Spencers (a fine Uk upmarket grocers) at a ridiculous £2.99 – thats $6.00 to you guys and I was thinking – I must make my own in future, I will check out Smittens website site when I get into work to see what she recommends and lo and behold its on your website this morning – the recipe has duly been printed off and Im ready for my first granola bakeoff :) Gracias Debs

  18. Just thinking about eating that instead of my everday oatmeal makes the view from my cubicle better. It looks gorgeous. Now, if only I had a bulk place to buy all those yummy dried fruits and such.

  19. Jim

    Damn, and here I was hoping you’d go into the secrets of making apple butter (in particular, how to easily obliterate big, chunky apples into small pieces–so I can take those pieces and press them for cider)! Still, pumpkin butter and granola are more than adequate substitutes. That stuff looks amazing.

  20. Angel

    To Jim: You can “obliterate” the apple chunks with a food mill; it’s quite easy, as long as the apples have been cooked long enough. Homemade apple butter (and I imagine pumpkin butter) makes a superb filling for a jelly roll. I like to serve the cake with a spoon of whipped cream and a whiskey spiked caramel sauce.

  21. Jenn

    I love love love apple butter. It’s heaven in a jar. I just said to my hubby that I wanted to try and make it myself, how hard can it be?. He of course doesn’t think I can make it myself (Im somewhat of a dunce in the kitchen sadly) BUT, this I can make…I cannot wait to make pumpkin butter and bring it to Thanksgiving. If it lasts that long! Thanks Deb!

  22. Weeziefitz

    Was gifted with a jar of TJ Pumpkin Butter last week. Absolutely smashing! Here is a quick recipe:
    3/4 c. pumpkin butter
    3 slices cooked bacon
    3 green onions, chopped
    3 T. chopped, roasted pecans
    Spread pumpkin butter over 8 oz. cream cheese, which has been softened and spread in a pie plate. Sprinkle bacon, onions, & pecans over all. Serve with crackers or carrots.

  23. For about the past week, I’ve been trying to talk myself into doing granola for breakfast instead of my english muffin, and you make it sound so easy! All I need to do is grab some dried fruits this weekend, and I’m all set. I think I’ll take jennbec’s suggestion and try it with fat free vanilla yogurt. Yum!

  24. ohiogirl

    Wow! To go your whole life with apple butter? Eeek.

    FYI, spicy apple butter on cottage cheese is the BEST warm weather food.

    And while it is easy to make stovetop, if you have the space, it’s even easier in a crock pot. Just have that immersion blender on hand for lumps and you are good to go!

    I’m looking forward to trying your pumpkin butter recipe, but if you are ever in Atlanta, you have to check out The Flying Biscuit – and their homemade cranberry apple butter. So yummy, I could eat it by the spoonful!

  25. As always, another delicious and inspiring recipe to try! Pumpkin butter sounds amazing, and just my luck I bought 2 cans or puree yesterday! I have been making my own granola for years now too but must try your recipe, love the addition of dried figs!

  26. deb

    RA — You can totally skip the canning part–I did! Just keep in an airtight container. I updated the recipe to clarify this.

    tracy — Dude. Cream cheese PLUS pumpkin butter? I think that if this were on a graham cracker, I’d go into overload, simply be swallowed up by fall bliss, and be suddenly ready for winter. This could be dangerous.

    Heather B. — Ha! I, too, have always felt that I was racing against time with granola, and the freezer does the trick. Plus, it doesn’t come out frozen-like, just ready to eat. Even the fruit bits (if you mix them in before you freeze it) aren’t that bad cold.

    Sindy — You totally busted me. I updated the recipe to explain what I included. I love the pears/figs/cherries mix. I’d add raisins too but my husband is the biggest baby about raisins, and I don’t want to end up with no granola left, just a container of frozen raisins.

    Dana — Yes, they do, but it’s hard to remove it entirely, especially because it will permanently stick to the pan. This is the first time I used parchment paper, and it did the trick so I could use less oil.

    maggie — I was *this close* to buying the industrial-sized coffee can of pecans. $35! Do you know how many pecan bars you could make with that? You could store them in the freezer for months! Btw, I have had problems with soggy granola with or without mixing the fruit in and I think it has to do with the oil and remaining moisture softening up the granola, the same way that bread loses it’s firm crust in a bag and nuts stay crisper in the fridge.

    Mercedes — Ooh, I was totally thinking about making pepita brittle. I don’t really care for brittle, but I know others do. Then again, what else am I going to two with two more cups of this stuff? I heart Bazzini’s.

    CeliacChick — This is where I admit that I haven’t been to Trader Joes, yet. [Yes, I know, it’s the greatest place on earth, blah blah–I just don’t need to go to Union Square to shop when I have plenty-o-stores in Chelsea. Oh, wait! That’s not what you asked. ;)] I don’t know if it is cheaper than Trader Joes but it is definitely better than Whole Foods has been (though the prices seemed slightly improved–some new brand–when I was there a few days ago) and Garden of Eden, by miles. Like half the price.

    Elise — Prune butter sounds awesome. You must come up with a recipe! I wonder how it is spiced…

    Yakumo — Thank you! I’ve got photo information over here, but in short, it’s Canon Digital Rebel + Macro or 50 mm lens + SpeedLite flash these days.

    Jessica “Su Good Sweets” — Wow, her recipe looks great. I definitely want to try to pulse the oats a little next time. I do get some, but not an overwhelming amount of clumpage with this recipe. I bet that will do the trick! I love the way a recipe is never really done, just a work in progress for me. :)

    To everyone: Did you see this photo collection? It’s of people with their breakfasts, and it’s fantastic. I looked at it for nearly an hour! Yeah, I need a life…

  27. Thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to make some pumpkin butter! You keep a beautiful and deliciously informative blog, that even a vegetarian can love. keep up the amazing work.


  28. smallstatic

    This sounded amazing. So amazing, in fact, I hopped over to the Bazzininuts online store to order some goodies for myself. And I feel compelled to warn you all – the product may be good, but the customer service is seriously bad. It seems like they’re having real growing pains – customer service doesn’t know what’s going on, etc., etc., my order was supposed to get here two days ago, they can’t provide a shipping number… I’m kinda bummed. Just thought you should know if you’re recommending them. ~ss

  29. sarah

    These guys, apart from having AMAZING dried fruit have incredible customer service – There are four brothers and cousins that work there and they actually answer the phone and talk nuts and figs and whatever with you. They’re adorable.

  30. smallstatic

    Package arrived! I’m feeling a bit better about the order generally now… and the gift wrapping (a bedazzled bunch of grapes) is totally awesome.

  31. Rynda

    Both recipes sound terrific. I’m wondering if this pumpkin butter is similar to the pecan pumpkin butter made by Muirhead Foods? (my local source is Williams Sonoma. $10 for a 13.5 ounce jar!) In the granola recipe, does the asterisk after the vegetable oil amount refer to anything?

  32. deb

    Hi Rynda — Sounds like it could be–so expensive! Definitely worth it to make your own. The asterisk once meant something; now it will be removed.

  33. leslie

    i bought the trader joe’s stuff a few weeks ago. it is indeed very delicious but i’ve noticed that if you apply it too liberally, it tastes like eating a holiday candle.

  34. Katie

    Hello! I made the pumpkin butter recipe tonight out of some fresh pumpkin puree and it’s incredibly delicious. I followed Carolyn’s suggestion and added the guts of a vanilla bean. Thanks for sharing this recipe (and other ways to use quarts and quarts of pumpkin puree).

    I’m going to try freezing some of mine, since the USDA recommends against canning pumpkin butter:

  35. So my 17-month-old daughter has eaten TJ pumpkin butter in her cottage cheese nearly every morning for, oh, three months straight. But we’re down to our last jar! Until next fall!
    Deb, I’m trying your recipe this weekend. You may have averted a toddler-sized crisis. (Which, believe me, is worse than you’d think…)

  36. Dee

    I had some trouble with the pumpkin butter when I tried to make it. I’m not really sure if I got the consistency right b/c even at a gentle simmer the mixture was bubbling and steaming and always on the verge of exploding out of the pot! I had to constantly stir to prevent it from exploding all over my ceiling and walls…what did I do wrong? I also overspiced for my taste, so I will adjust better next time.

  37. LizD

    You know, I just made sweet potato butter last week because my pantry was just bogged down with the potatoes and not really with any pumpkin. Oh it is so good! A lot like sweet potato pie in a jar, really, and almost better I think. I tell you truly – any starchy fruit or vegetable (read apples, pears, all manner of squashes and potatoes, even carrots) can be made into “butter” and all that really varies is the amount of liquid needed to get it to the right consistency. I mean really, can you go wrong with gloriously colored veggies & fruit puree, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg? I haven’t yet! And if you don’t can, put the results in a few tupperwares, freeze and take out to eat. Yum!! I love fall!!

  38. Keri

    I love the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter on pumpernickle bread. Yummy. Because the Trader Joe product is seasonal, your recipe will help my winter withdrawal. Thanks.

  39. Another great recipe – thanks Deb!

    Made it this morning. The few mods I made:
    – Sunflower Seeds instead of Walnuts (b/c it’s what I had on hand)
    – No coconut (didn’t have any on hand – instead was extra generous with the nuts)
    – Added about 1/3 cup ground oat bran (taking tip from one of the commenters to make it clumpier)
    – Didn’t add the fruit. I just add in the fruit when I’m ready to eat a serving.
    – Baked for 14 minutes, and it was a slightly overcooked. Next time, I’ll reduce oven temp to 325 instead of 375.

    The course sea salt and freezing are great tips – thanks!

    I think I’ve put on 10 lbs this week with your great recipes :-)

  40. p.s. Yours is definitely the best granola recipe I’ve tried so far (out of about 6 or so). I love that this is 1 bowl, no pots and no pre-cooking required.

    p.s. Other mod I made – Grapeseed Oil instead of Canola Oil. Just to experiment.

  41. Natasha

    This looks amazing! I love granola and pumpkin butter. I was wondering if it would be possible to substitute some or all of the brown sugar in the pumpkin butter with maple syrup? Do you think it would have an effect on the consistency?

  42. amh

    Hey there,

    I made this granola and the pumpkin butter after I discovered this site from a friend’s referral (re:your iced coffee. yum.). I had the ingredients on hand so I made both!

    Thanks for this! This combo is divine, especially with whole milk plain yogurt. Yum. I added golden flax seeds to the granola and fresh-ground ginger to the pumpkin butter and both were delicious.

    Amy H.

  43. Just made the granola tonight–MMM! Makes me wish I hadn’t waited this long to try making it at home.

    Thanks for the tip on watching after 15 minutes, too–my oven runs hot (and I am notorious for burning things), and it was done right around 20 minutes.

  44. Rhonda5280

    For all the fruit butter fans, an idea to make it even easier: crockpot. For applebutter, I just quarter and core the apples (don’t peel-leaving the skins on lets the pectin help thicken the mixture), and toss them in there with the other ingredients for 8 hours on low. Put it through a food ricer (sorry, not sure if there’s another name for it)l to puree and remove skins, then put back in crockpot on high, no lid, for 2 hours to thicken up. Yummmmm!!!! I imagine this would work with other fruits (and pumpkins) as well.

  45. Julie

    I finally made granola last night. It’s delicious!! But partially burnt :( my oven also runs hot.. I checked on it around 20 minutes and it still was a little pale.. when I looked again at 25 minutes, it was burning!! Still tastes good in some greek yogurt with a banana and pumpkin butter :)

  46. eliza

    I’m with #55 Dee. Mine was from homemade pumpkin puree and incredibly too thick. I didnt simmer it, just let heat for 30 mins. Either way, it’s good!

  47. Hey Deb – if you’re still making your own granola, I have a suggestion – to avoid burning, help with clumping and avoid softening – bake it at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. 275 for 2 hours works really well. It won’t feel dry when it comes out of the oven b/c the honey and oil will still be warm, but as it cools, it will harden right up! xo!

  48. Liz D.

    Deb, once again you have provided me with the keys to delight. I have long been a fan of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin butter, but there isn’t a Trader Joe’s for 150 miles in any direction from my house. So my ability to enjoy it has been erratic at best. I found this recipe of yours, tried it, and my LAWD it is amazing. I will never need to buy pumpkin butter again! Thanks, Deb.

  49. K

    I’ve made this granola several times now using whatever combination of fruit and nuts I have on hand (pecans are wonderful!) and I just love it. Thank you, Deb. The most recent time, I didn’t have any regular brown sugar on hand so I substituted turbinado. I just wanted to advise people that this is NOT a good idea. The turbinado melted onto the bottom of the pan, and when I stirred the granola as it was cooling, it broke into peanut brittle-like shards. They were tasty in a candy-like way — but not what I want with my breakfast yogurt! I hope this saves others from making the same mistake.

  50. Ann

    I work for the USDA, and new research has shown that canning pumpkin butter is unsafe, and should never be done under any circumstance. It carries a significant risk of botulism poisoning, which can be deadly. If you have already canned the pumpkin butter, throw it away without even tasting it. If you wish to make pumpkin butter, freeze it instead of canning it, or eat it fresh. If you have eaten home-canned pumpkin butter without illness in the past, then you were lucky. For more information from the University of Georgia, go to:

  51. Made this recipe the other night and while it is, indeed, absolutely delicious swirled into greek yogurt and topped with (I admit, store-bought) granola, I think that for a stand-alone pumpkin butter there is WAY too much cinnamon. It completely overpowers the flavour of the pumpkin, perhaps because I used fresh pumpkin puree instead of canned? Either way, love how simple and easy it was to make, but next time will cut the cinnamon in half.

  52. jess

    A question on the safety aspect–if I store pumpkin butter in the fridge and eat within 6 months, do I still need to process it in a hot water bath?

  53. Sarah

    In addition to the comments about the canning of pumpkin butter being unsafe listed above, I would like something. Now, I’m just learning to can for the first time, but I also read that safe processing requires additional time if you live above sea level, so when a recipe says to process for 10 minutes, that’s not always exact. My source, Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff (excellent book!) says that if a recipe calls for “processing in boiling water for 20 minutes or less, increase the processing time by 1 minute for every 1,000 feet above sea level you live.” And if the recipe calls for over 20 minutes, adjust by 2 minutes for every 1,000 feet.

  54. Hi!
    These recipes sound wonderful; I can wait to try some pumpkin butter!

    I made my first attempt at home made granola a few months back after scanning a dozen or so recipes on blogs and Food TV. I used NO oil in mine at all. Instead, I melted a bit of butter and used maple syrup. I’ve made the recipe 2 or 3 times now and it makes a fairly large batch; it sat in a glass or ceramic container on my kitchen counter, covered with press n seal wrap for no less than 2 weeks each time. And I kid you not when I say it did NOT get soft or mushy. It was as crunchy when I finally emptied the bowl as the first day I made it. My recipe, however, does not have much of a clump factor, and I use tons of nuts and no dried fruit.

    I wonder why mine doesn’t get soft?

    If anyone is interested, you can find my version here:

  55. SZH

    Just made the pumpkin butter with pumpkin puree I had frozen from last winter. It turned out wonderful. I had to cook it about 10 minutes longer with the fresh. I also cut down the spices just a bit. Great recipe and will definitely make again.

  56. Coops

    I have a very similar granola recipe that I’ve been making for several months which I am addicted to. I skip the brown sugar and add ground ginger and 2 tbs ground flax seed. I also don’t add dried fruit as my favorite way to serve is over non-fat plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit. I too love figs in mine. However, this idea of adding the pumpkin butter has me wanting to run out to the store today for canned pumpkin so I can have this for breakfast tomorrow… and every day next week.

  57. Jess

    I tried the pumpkin butter because I love pumpkin butter so much and hate trying to find it at the grocery store at times other than autumn. Your recipe was easy and delicious on toast, but on its own the apple flavor from the juice comes through a lot.
    I want to eat it right from the bowl!

  58. Sharon T

    Your pumpkin butter recipe is even better with fresh pumpkin puree. I did read that home canned pumpkin butter should still be stored under refrigeration, it’s not safe to just store on the shelf.

  59. Mia

    Please for the sake of safety, remove the water bath instructions. Pumpkin is not safe to process in a waterbath nor is it safe to process in a pressure canner. Pumpkin puree is too dense for even the heat of pressure canning to get it hot enough to kill all of the nasties! The only safe way to preserve pumpkin butter at home is to freeze it. I love your recipe except for the instructions to waterbath it. I realize that you might do so at home but when you put it out on the internet, it becomes a liability. I am one of many who tries to teach safe canning practices and when people ask me for recipes I like to send them to your site.

  60. I take care of this dear little boy named Alex. Recently his daddy arrived bearing a beautiful Autumn Basket for me, not only was this a very sweet gesture, as it contained lotions, a candle, soft socks,and ginger cookies all in a basket embedded amongst silk autumn leaves. THEN I discovered the jar of Pumpkin Butter! How one person could devour a jar of the most delicious Pumpkin Butter ever is a rather shameful thing to admit! I asked Kristy how she made this delicious pumpkin butter – which I somehow just knew had to be good for me! and she kindly sent me the link to your blog. The basket is as special as this lovely family – good people do lovely kind things – and obviously make good things too!

  61. Fanya

    LOVE THE PUMPKIN BUTTER! Finally made pumpkin muffin and decide to make this with the leftover puree.

    Absolutely delicious and more pumpkin-y than pumpkin pie. I use orange juice instead of apple juice and only half the amount of sugar so I can eat it with vanilla ice cream (soo goood).

  62. Carly

    Hello! I’m a first time commenter and I have to first say that I absolutely love your site. Thanks for inspiring me to get into the kitchen more. I made your delicious pumpkin butter this morning (about ten hours ago) and just now realized that I forgot to add the lemon juice at the end. Would you suggest reheating the pumpkin butter so I can add it? Or should I just forget it at this point? Thanks again!

  63. Amy

    Hi Carly! You should NOT can pumpkin butter. As in – boiling water can for preservation for the pantry. Pumpkin butter is okay if you keep it in the fridge or freezer. Canning pumpkin butter (whether or not you add the lemon juice) runs the risk of contaminating the pumpkin butter with botulism. DO NOT DO. Smitten kitchen should not have preservation instructions on this website as IT IS NOT SAFE. Preserving pumpkin butter or pumpkin puree is not safe!

  64. Carly

    Thank you for that information Amy! I was too lazy to try to preserve the pumpkin butter so I just put it in the fridge in an air tight container and told myself to try to finish it within a week. But I may not have been so lazy next time so I’m grateful for the website you provided. Hopefully others will read it too. Thanks again.

  65. tnovak

    Hi Deb – I have a question about your granola recipe – I made the favorite / calle ocho granola this morning with certain modifications – unsweetened coconut, 2/3 cup chopped mission figs as only fruit, almond oil instead of veg, toasted almonds subbed for other nuts . . . but it is too salty for my taste. Do you have any suggestions for counteracting the salty / savoriness so I don’t have to jettison the entire bag? I added almost another 1/4 cup brown sugar loose post-cooling but that still hasn’t completely fixed it.

    I’ve repeatedly made your granola bars recipe (not the chewy ones) and LOVE them and have had success with subbing ingredients, which is why I’m a bit perplexed at why the flavor isn’t exactly coming together for me on the loose granola. Any suggestions would be great – thanks!

    P.S. the bars are actually the recipe that got me hooked on your blog initially – now i read it constantly. Thank you!

    1. deb

      Hi — Maybe try baking the brown sugar onto the granola? You might also toss the granola with some additional honey or maple syrup and re-toast it in the oven. I’d hope that baking it in a bit might help balance the saltiness better. … About the saltiness, were you just too heavy-handed with the salt (I think just a pinch is called for) or might you have used some salted nuts or pepitas in the mix? You might find that when you toss with with yogurt, maybe using sweetened yogurt if you usually use unsweetened might counteract the saltiness. A drizzle of honey on top might help too.

  66. midge n

    I am making pumpkin butter as I write, just to find out I have everything but ginger, instead of the ginger, coves, cinn and nutmeg can I sub. pumpkin pie spice If so what is the ratio of pumpkin spice to all the above ingredents please respond asap I am in the middle of making pumpkin butter for Christmas baskets for family.

  67. sumayya

    this is the second time the granola’s burned at ten minutes in, and at 350 too — i know my oven runs hot but is there something i am doing wrong?! this seems ridiculous. and burned as in, smoke-alarm-railing-through-my-grad-student-apartment burned.

  68. Julie

    I was wondering how long the pumpkin butter can be stored in an airtight jar (not processed via canning) in the fridge? It this something I’d need to eat up pretty much right away? Not that it’s a bad thing.. :)

  69. jcovM

    I made the granola last night, and it couldn’t be more amazing! I cooked it at 325, 15 min, then for an add’l 20 min, checking every 5. Also added sunflower seeds. This will be amazing with Chobani cherry yogurt :)

  70. Jessica B

    I’ve been following your blog for about a year, but this is my first time commenting, so I feel the need to first say how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE your recipes and your banter! Thank you for writing like a real person. It’s delightful to read. =) Secondly, I wanted to tell you that your pumpkin butter recipe is amazing on its own, but has also helped me realize how amazing Greek yogurt is too! Your serving suggestions in the granola recipe inspired me to give yogurt another chance, and I have eaten a homemade parfait of Greek yogurt, vanilla, pumpkin butter, and pumpkin chocolate chip granola the last three mornings! So please keep the recipes coming. I try out a new one at least once a week and I am never disappointed. Oh, and congrats on the book! I’ll be picking one up for sure.

  71. Valerie

    This is the BEST granola I have ever ever had! And I live in Asheville, where granola is practically it’s own food group. I didn’t have any flaked coconut, but I used coconut oil instead of vegetable and tossed in a little ground ginger for fun. Woah. It is so, so good. Thanks for sharing!

  72. Yvonne

    I’ll have to try this recipe! I’ve been making my granola with applesauce. I find that if I don’t mix in the dried fruit, then my granola doesn’t get soft, even if I just keep the granola in the pantry. I think all the moisture in the fruit makes the granola soft.

  73. arrtee

    Awesome granola recipe. I omitted the brown sugar altogether and bumped up the cinnamon. For those who prefer things a little less sweet, I recommend doing this!

  74. Megan

    I’ve been making pumpkin butter ever year now as a byproduct of the pumpkin pecan cheesecake on (highly recommend!) I know this post is pretty old and admittedly I didn’t read through all the comments but I couldn’t help but share an idea that’s been floating in my head for a few weeks now. I’m planning to use a dollop of pumpkin butter in place of the rhubarb in your recent rhubard cream cheese hand pies. I made them all summer with peaches and I have a funny feeling that they will be incredible with pumpkin butter nestled in and cinnamon sugar over the tops…I will let you know how it goes!

  75. Jillian L

    I love this granola, I have no idea how many times I have made it now, but it’s a lot. I make a giant batch (about 3 times the recipe) and put in into a couple freezer bags for me and my husband to take to work. It’s not overly sweet, but it is sweet enough that if goes well with a tangy Greek yogurt, I really can’t stress how great this recipe is. I’m making it again today so I was checking the recipe and realized I never commented, so I totally recommend this one!! Thanks deb!!

  76. Mairsydoats

    Whoa – this is almost exactly what I’ve been doing for work breakfast for the last few months! A half-cup of homemade plain whole-milk yogurt, a tablespoon of my homemade jam (sometimes apple butter, this morning plum-ginger, tomorrow peach with bourbon!), and a sprinkling of granola. This is giving me the nudge to make the granola too!

  77. Hannah

    I was wondering whether you think this would work with butternut puree instead of pumpkin? It’s very difficult to get canned pumpkin where I live, and I’ve had very mixed results making my own pumpkin puree (always turns out quite watery and not particularly flavourful), so I tend to substitute butternut puree instead.

  78. Linda Sielken

    I must have done something wrong,,, or the ingredients had a mistake. First I made the pumpkin butter. It was VERY thick and never unthickened. I ended up adding lots more apple juice. Are you sure that 3/4 cup is correct? Then I made the granola. I’m a veteran granola maker and I thought at the time that 375 degrees was too hot, but you are the pro here so I gave it a try. WAY TOO HOT! I turned it down to 300 degrees. Were these recipes printed properly? I’ve always loved your recipes and will not give up on you!

    1. deb

      I’m sorry that these were trouble… and also that it’s been a few years since I’ve made them and so my recollections aren’t fresh but I never had trouble with them. I am long overdue to make granola and will revisit this soon — more to come.

  79. Lael walter

    Consider substituting walnut oil for your vegetable oil. sublime! you’ll want to keep oven temps at 325 or under so you don’t damage the oil, so baking time will be closer to 40 minutes.