I have a bit of a rule in our little one-bedroom apartment: if it’s hot out, you can’t turn the oven on. That’s just life with no AC – lots of cold drinks and cool showers just to make it through those 30+ degree days. But the truth is, I really miss baking and each fall I get into it as soon as the nights become a little chilly. When we needed to wear hoodies on the balcony the other night, I knew it was that time of year again!
We also have a little project going on to clear out our freezer – it’s getting a little overstocked for just 2 people! Time to use up all those odds and ends wherever possible.
Last fall I made some pumpkin muffins and didn’t use the full can of pumpkin purée. I scooped out 1/4 cupfuls onto a cookie sheet, then froze them into tiny pumpkin pucks. Once solid, I put them into one of my pretty IKEA ziploc bags.
I had a quick look at one of my favourite recipe sites, CHOW, and found a great recipe for Pumpkin Bread: http://www.chow.com/recipes/29154-pumpkin-bread
As usual, I ended up tweaking the recipe a bit to suit my needs/tastes:
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp each ground cloves, freshly ground nutmeg, allspice, ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 c pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
3/4 stick of butter, at room temperature
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 8 in x 8 in square pan and set aside. (I didn’t have a loaf pan!)
- Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl: combine flour, salt, baking powder and soda, and spices.
- Drain off some of the liquid from the pumpkin purée – this is easier if you’ve frozen then thawed it. I put it in a bowl, pressed a coffee filter over the surface, and tipped out whatever liquid came to the top.
- Mix the wet ingredients: cream the butter and sugars, then add the eggs one at a time. Once thoroughly combined, add pumpkin and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Add dry mixture to wet mixture in 3 stages, making sure to combine without overmixing. If you’re working in a KitchenAid mixer, you’ll probably want to do the last stage by hand with a spatula.
- Spread evenly into the buttered pan and bake until it passes the toothpick test – it took me about 30-40 minutes. Cool on a rack, then cut into squares and enjoy!
Hope you enjoy this first taste of fall!