Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Foodie Pen Pals Parcel – Pumpkin Butter

Woot woot for another exciting month of Foodie Pen Pals. This month I received some wonderful goodies from Tamzin (who has a great blog over at Salad and Sequins, all about her love of healthy living, which you should check out for some healthy eating tips). I’ve been really busy at work this month so explained to Tamzin that I haven’t had a lot of time to bake and cook as much as I would normally like to. I’ve also found that when I have been putting in the extra hours in the lab I’ve been reaching straight for the chocolate to keep me going so Tamzin came to the rescue with lots of healthy goodies for me to munch through instead!

Nakd Cocoa Loco Bars – I’ve tried a few of the Nakd bars but haven’t had this variety yet so it’s great to be able to try these.

Banana, Mango and Brazil Bars – a great combination of flavours in these cereal bars.

Pomegranate Bar – I love pomegranate and tucked into this straight away, it was really rather moreish.

Pineapple infused raisins – two of my favourite things combined together…genius!

Apple crisps – These are a great alternative to the traditional potato variety.

Mixed fruit and nuts – Which proved to be the perfect energy source when I recently when on a hike into the Mourne Mountains.

Rosehip Syrup – Tamzin suggested this could be used in some baking. I haven’t had time to get busy in the kitchen with this yet but have my eye on a rosehip and olive oil cake recipe that I am keen to try so will keep you updated when I get around to baking that one.

So thanks for all of the lovely things packed into this months will definitely keep me going for  a while :o)

I sent a parcel onto Sarah this month. Sarah mentioned that she is a big fan of spices like cinnamon and ginger as well as loving things like pumpkin. This suited me perfectly as I am a massive pumpkin fan and have been saving up quite a few recipes to try once pumpkins started to appear in the shops and so I squeezed in some experimental kitchen sessions and shared some of the resulting pumpkin products with Sarah. As well as making Spiced Pumpkin Syrup I also made Pumpkin Butter. This thick, sweet puree is great spread on toast, swirled into plain yoghurt or used in autumnal baking and I hope Sarah enjoyed this slightly more unusual pumpkin product.

180ml cranberry juice
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
150g brown sugar

Put all of the ingredients into a large saucepan, place over a gently heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Increase the heat slightly and continue to stir until the liquid begins to evaporate from the mixture and the Pumpkin Butter starts to thicken. This takes quite a lot of elbow grease as I found the mixture had to be stirred for about 30 minutes before the desired consistency of a thick paste was reached.

Let the mixture cool a little before transferring to sterilised jars.

The Pumpkin Butter is best kept on the fridge to ensure it lasts.


  1. Pineapple infused raisins. Whoa. What was it like?

    1. Surprisingly good...they really reminded me of pineapple cubes which were a hard boiled sweet I used to eat as a child!