1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup canned or fresh pumpkin purée, strained (to remove any excess water)
1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest, finely grated
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder*
Salt to taste
Optional: Confectioners’ sugar or honey powder for sweeter applications;
Optional: 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
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, scrapping down the sides of the bowl, and beat to incorporate all ingredients. Taste for five-spice powder and salt. Add confectioners’ 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.
*Bottled five-spice powder can often be found at supermarkets, specialty food stores or in Asian markets.
Serving Notes: Great on the table to accompany breakfast pastries or dinner breads and muffins, or use it in the kitchen when preparing turkey, ham or other pork dishes. This wonderful butter adds richness and flavor to sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips and beets.