The Fall has always been my favorite time of year. Living in New England has made that all the more easier to love with the leaves changing and all the great fruits and veggies that are in season. One of my favorites is Pumpkin. This year for the first time ever I hollowed out a pumpkin and made homemade Pumpkin Puree. It may take a few extra minutes to make but in a world where there is so much processed food in our diets this enables me to know what is in my puree as opposed to a can of puree you find in you local market. And that is the part I really like.
This was all fueled by this beautiful pumpkin I purchased a few weeks ago. Instead of giving the pumpkin to the Red Tail Hawk or Deer that lives in the backyard as dinner, I wanted to make something yummy. (And you will soon understand that I love to make breads) So why not make Pumpkin Bread!!! But since it is winter time, why can’t I spice it up a bit. I found this great recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Bread. Originally the recipe was for two loaves, but since this is a first… I cut the recipe in half and made one loaf.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
8-ounce can solid pack pumpkin or 1 cup of pumpkin puree*
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Before the bread goes in the oven sprinkle some nutmeg and cinnamon over the top. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaf. Turn loaf out onto racks and cool completely.
*I thought Pumpkin Puree was this very difficult thing to make till I thought about and realized how hard can it be pumpkin is only a large squash and squash is easy to make. I took my very large pumpkin and cut it up into slices (after removing all the "hairs" and seeds, the seeds were roasted in the oven with butter and sea salt) and put on a cookie sheet and in a 350 degree oven for 1-1 1/2 hours, till fork tender. I let it cool completely and then removed the "dry" exterior and the skin from the bottom and put the soft pumpkin "meat" in a bowl. After it was all done I used a hand mixer to puree the pumpkin. Took what i needed for the bread and the remaining went in the freezer for later use.
PS ... Sorry there is no picture but we ate the bread way faster than I had time to post it ... that is how good it is. Enjoy!!!