I FIRST TASTED pumpkin butter at the San Francisco farmers market and was hooked. Fall squash had transformed into a rich, smooth spread laced with apple cider, honey, and plenty of warm spices. It reminded me of the creamy, spicy sweetness of pumpkin pie. These days, I make a big batch of pumpkin butter at home to keep in the fridge all season long—and because my recipe toes the line between sweet and savory, there’s no cloying Pumpkin Spice Latte effect. While I eat most of it at breakfast, spreading a spoonful (or, OK, three) on cream cheese–topped toast, this silky preserve is the perfect vehicle for adding complex pumpkin flavor to almost anything. Stir it into whipped cream for a mousse-like dessert or coffee topper. Add a large dollop to your favorite pancake batter for an autumnal twist. Or go savory and melt some into a mixture of browned butter, sage, shallots, and crushed red pepper for an addictive pasta sauce.