Every year there is a different fruit or vegetable that just outshines all of the rest. One year it was pickling cukes while another year it was potatoes. This year the hands-down winner has to be our pumpkins. The growing conditions this summer were quite good for all of the garden, but the pumpkins seemed to like the warmth the best! You can see some of my pumpkin pictures from earlier in the summer here: https://mominthegarden.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/the-vegetable-gardens-summertime-review/ We had a bumper crop of high quality organic baking pumpkins. I am now down to my last two.
I made soup a few times, but the rest of the pumpkins were used to make pumpkin bread. A batch makes two loaves. This is perfect as it means one to keep and one to give away. There is always someone to say “thank you” to, or “thinking of you”, or “I really thought you’d enjoy this”! I love sharing food, and I love connecting with people.
Having a bumper crop of pumpkins suits me perfectly! The bread has been really well received. I think it helps that pumpkin bread (which really and truthfully should be called cake) is American and a new and unusual taste to the Irish. My family love it. 🙂
The recipe itself comes to me from a very dear friend. She also shares a love of gardening and cooking and has turned that love into a business: Curly Locks Gourmet Food. She started with pepper jelly with peppers from her garden. The business has grown to include a complete line of jellies and sauces. Even their jars are pretty! You can check them out here: http://curlylocksjelly.com/index.html
Now back to the pumpkin bread recipe. I’ve adjusted the recipe for using fresh pumpkin.
Kathleen Komar’s Pumpkin Bread recipe
1 cup oil or apple sauce
3 cups sugar (I use Demerara)
2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin
½ cup nutmeats
|3 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp each: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon
½ tsp ground clove
¾ tsp salt
Combine eggs, oil and sugar. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients. Grease and flour 2 bread tins (9 x 5 inch). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 176 degrees C. Place pans in oven (to keep heat circulating, avoid placing side by side and above each other). Bake for 60 minutes, turning pans around half way through. Bread is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Per Kathleen’s recipe, if using canned pumpkin, you will have to add 2 to 3 cups water and bake for nearly another hour.
Is there someone special in your life that would enjoy something baked by you? It is a great excuse to visit someone you haven’t seen in a while. You will be glad you did, and so will they!
Happy baking and sharing in 2014!