Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings this season with the perfect combination of sugar, spice and everything pumpkin. With vegetable and fruit ingredients, you’ll cultivate the ultimate spreads, liquors and pumpkin wedges that will help add some extra oomf to your favorite fall dishes.Pumpkin ButterA simple low-sugar breakfast spread without undue additives.Prep time: 30 minutesTotal time: 1 hour 15 minutesYield: Makes about 1 quartIngredients

  • 1 sugar pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup organic apple juice
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice
  • 3 whole cloves, ground
  • 3 whole allspice, ground
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (optional)

Cooking directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut pumpkin in half. Scrape away seeds and pulp with rounded edge of spoon. Place halves on baking sheet on center rack of oven. Cook 40 minutes, or until tender. Allow pumpkin to cool, peeling off outer skin.
  3. To puree, cube roasted pumpkin into 1-inch sections. Process pumpkin in blender until smooth, adding water if needed. For best results blend in batches, about 5 minutes.
  4. Combine puree, apple juice, brown sugar, pumpkin spice, cloves, allspice and salt in heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to slow boil, reduce heat and simmer. Stir slowly 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat as sauce begins to thicken and brown.
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MORE FROM MNN: Go Green for Halloween Pumpkin LiquorPumpkins augur the onset of winter. Infusing vodka with the king of fall produce ought to improve your outlook, combining the flavors of fall with a hint of caramel.Prep time: 30 minutesTotal time: 1 hour plus 6 weeksYield: Makes about 1 quartIngredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3 vanilla beans, split
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, cracked
  • 6 whole cloves allspice
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3 inches fresh ginger, sliced
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups roasted pumpkin, cubed
  • 4 cups decent quality vodka
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, optional
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon, optional

Cooking directions

  1. To make syrup, bring water to boil in heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add sugar. Stir and reduce heat. Add vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, clove, ginger and nutmeg. Stir and remove from heat. Allow syrup to cool, about 30 minutes.
  2. Toss cubed pumpkin into tall wide-mouthed jar. Pour vodka over cubes. Add 1 cup syrup. Seal and gently shake contents. Refrigerate up to 1 week, shaking daily. At week’s end, add maple syrup to sweeten and bourbon to darken, if needed.
  3. Strain contents through metal sieve into airtight container. Seal and store in a cool dark place for 5 to 6 weeks. Shake periodically. Strain contents into a clean bottle.
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COLUMN: Pumpkin Mousse for Glowing SkinSweet and Sour PumpkinAn easy recipe that’s as simple as stirring and watching with a nod to Mario Batali.Prep time: 25 minutesTotal time: 50 minutesYield: Serves 2-4Ingredients

  • 1/2 sugar pumpkin
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Handful basil leaves, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon mint, chopped fine
  • Dash sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Sprigs mint, optional garnish

Cooking directions

  1. Cut pumpkin into 1/2-inch wedges.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and sautee about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Remove garlic.
  4. Add pumpkin wedges. Cook until tender, turning golden brown. Flipping wedges once, about 10 minutes.
  5. Drizzle honey then vinegar over pumpkin. Cook until the liquids are reduced. Add basil and mint. Shake pan, turning ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper to taste. Plate and serve.
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