Happy Halloween! I may or may not be dressing up as a pickle tonight (check FB or Instagram for photos). Don’t worry I’m all dill pickle guys (sweet pickle? scoff…). I’m actually in Freeport, ME at a science meeting today sans gherkin costume… the chick with the ears and tale apparently didn’t get the memo. Even though I typically wait till the night before or the day of to pull together a planned out costume, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I’ve never really been one for risque costumes but more huge and obnoxious or costumes that I can incorporate in with my bicycle… or both. The plan for this evening is to attend the Portsmouth Halloween Parade and then to scoot over to the Polish Club in Newmarket, NH for a night of blues and mandatory dancing. What are you all up to on this witchy day?
Last December I made my first crockpot pumpkin butter. After sterilizing a ton of jars for shelf stable pumpkin butter, I discovered that pumpkin butter is NOT safe to can, no water bath canning, no pressure canning, no canning PERIOD. When low-acid pumpkin and squash flesh is cooked down into butter it becomes very dense meaning that the heat produced in a canner has a hard time penetrating the inner contents of the jar putting the goods at risk for bacterial growth. So I froze them.. all 6 pints of them. 10 months later and I just finished up my last jar (yes, I moved frozen pumpkin butter clear across the Atlantic coast). In effort to avoid last year’s scenario I stupidly trusted a site that recommended canning sweet potato butter instead. OK! Great, load up the crockpot, set it on low for 9-10hrs and voila a shelf safe Fall butter! WRONG! Turns out the same issue persists with sweet potatoes. Sweet potato puree is also NOT safe to can! Luckily this time I made half pints instead of full pints… oh, did I mention that it tastes absolutely amazing?!? Use this sweet potato butter the same as you would with any pumpkin or apple butter.
- 9 cups sweet potato (peeled and diced)
- 3 cups apple (peeled, cored, and diced)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 3 cups water
- 2-1/4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Add all ingredients except apple cider vinegar to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 9-10 hours.
- When timer is up, add vinegar then blend butter until smooth (using an immersion blender; if using a regular blended add vinegar after blending).
- Ladle butter into jars leaving approximately 1/2 inch headspace.
- Store in fridge and consume immediately or store in freezer for up to 1 year.