When we drive up north we usually stop in Staunton, Virginia, because we love eaching at the Mill Street Grill, which serves a variety of compound butters along with their freshly baked bread. My favorite is their pumpkin butter, but searches for a recipe have been in vain, yielding preserves - until yesterday.
The Pumpkin Five-Spice Butter I found at this link was very close to what I remember: http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/cheese/butter/holiday-butters.asp#pumpkin
Just in case the website disappears, here's the recipe:
Pumpkin Five-Spice Butter
This is not the same as the “pumpkin butter” you can purchase in jars, which is more of a pumpkin preserve. It’s a marriage of pumpkin and butter, richer and yummier. Serve it with breakfast pastries and waffles to dinner breads and muffins—not to mention adding richness and flavor to beets, carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes. Or use it in the kitchen when preparing turkey, ham or other pork dishes that require butter.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room
1/3 cup canned or fresh pumpkin purée,
strained (to remove excess water)
1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest, finely
1½ to 2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice
Salt to taste
Optional: Confectioner’s sugar or honey
for sweeter applications
Optional: ¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
*Bottled five-spice powder can be found at supermarkets, specialty food stores or Asian markets.
Place the butter in a medium mixing bowl and with an electric mixer (fitted with a paddle) or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
Add pumpkin purée, zest and five-spice powder, scraping down the sides of the bowl, and beat to incorporate all ingredients. Taste for five-spice powder and salt. Add confectioner’s sugar if desired.
Stir in nuts if desired, and taste again for salt.
Scrape into a small bowl, serving crock or butter molds and cover tightly; or shape into a long roll in grease-proof paper (plastic, wax or parchment) for storing and slicing as needed.
Of course I rarely follow a recipe exactly so this one was cut in half.
I used lemon zest and added extra cinnamon and sugar because I had cut back on the five-spice powder just to be on the safe side - I could always have added more if I felt it was necessary. Mine is very old and hardly has any scent left.
I think the suggestion to add confectioners' sugar is a good one. I added extra fine granulated but I think it would be nicer without the crunch of the sugar.
Very important to serve it at room temp or at least not straight out of the fridge. You want it to spread nicely.
Now to figure out what to do with the rest of the can of pumpkin.
Do you have any favorite compound butter(s)?