This week’s winter squash feature, butternut butter, is the least labor intensive food item I have ever made. All I did was place the ingredients in a slow cooker, gave it a stir or two, and then processed the mixture until smooth. And voilà, a perfectly spiced spread. Consider this a gateway dish back into the kitchen after all the holiday baking.
I am not typically one for spreads. Plain butter will do just fine, thank you very much. Butternut butter has not changed my mind on this, but I do like its flavor that resembles apple butter. I can see myself substituting this for the piece of cinnamon and sugar toast I typically turn to when I want something sweet at night.
Other recommended uses straight from the cookbook include spreading butternut butter on bagels, pancakes or waffles. I think it would pair pretty well on a fluffy buttermilk biscuit too. Any other ideas out there? If you have one, I’d love to hear it.
If not, that’s okay too. Butternut butter is not for everyone. The good news is alternative squash recipes can be found in the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash links below. Enjoy!
Yield 3 cups
- 6 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 2 pounds)
- 1 cup apple juice or apple cider
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Lightly grease the inside of a slow cooker.
- Combine all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and stir well to mix.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. If possible, stir halfway through the cooking time. The squash should be very soft and the mixture should not look watery after stirring.
- If the mixture is watery after the allotted time, turn the slow cooker to high and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is absorbed. This might take 30-45 minutes.
- Turn off the slow cooker and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
- When cool, use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender to process until smooth.
- Store refrigerated in a sealed container for up to six weeks.
I left my mixture to cook on low heat for six hours. The squash was soft but it was very watery after that time. I left it on high heat for another 45 minutes to absorb the liquid.