Last night I hosted our neighborhood women for a "hen party" – an old-fashioned phrase, but I love the sound of it – where everyone enjoys a glass of cheer and a bite of tasty appetizers. Judging by the happy noise level, everyone had an enjoyable evening.
I wanted to try something new, not your typical bruschetta or veggie dip, an appetizer that reflected the season, but it had to be easy and make ahead. I recalled perusing a thread on the Cooking Light Community Bulletin Board that referenced a pumpkin butter dip, using Williams Sonoma’s pumpkin butter. With 10 cups of pureed fresh pumpkin in the freezer, I was certain I could find a recipe to make my own – and save $10. The beauty of the Internet. Recipe found and with little effort, I made a batch. This stuff is heavenly. Copiously spiced, thick, pumpkin pie sans crust. I can see countless uses for it – on toast, in yogurt, in oatmeal, in pancake batter, an ice cream topping. And in a dip. Connor cleverly used the leftovers as the spread on his bagel this morning – dairy, protein, vegetables, right?
Pumpkin Butter Dip
8 ounces softened cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat Neufchatel cream cheese)
3/4 cup pumpkin butter (recipe below)
3 tablespoon crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
3 scallions (only the green part), thinly sliced
Beat the cream cheese with the pumpkin butter until smooth and creamy. Add the crumbled bacon and scallion slices, reserving some of both to sprinkle on top for garnish. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, garnish, and serve with toasted baguette slices.
29 ounce can pumpkin puree or 4 cups fresh pumpkin
3/4 cup apple cider
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup brown sugar – add up to 1 1/2 cups if you prefer a sweeter taste
Combine pumpkin, cider, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently.
Transfer to a sterile container and chill in the refrigerator until serving.
The recipe I based this from was found on All Recipes and indicates that it freezes and cans well. This is assuming it lasts long enough.