In Praise of Pumpkin
- Tuesday, November 20, 2012
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 1-lb can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling, just pumpkin)
2/3 cup water
3 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
1 cup chopped nuts (optional; I rarely include them but when I do I prefer pecans)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and oil together. Add eggs and pumpkin; mix well. Sift together dry ingredients (if you don’t own a sifter, just stir dry ingredients with a whisk, it works just as well). Alternate adding dry ingredients and water to pumpkin. The result will be pretty mushy; don’t panic, this is normal.
Pour into two well-greased 9” x 5” loaf pans. Bake for 1 ½ hours or until toothpick inserted into middle of loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely.
Pumpkin bread is good plain, better with butter, to die for with spreadable cream cheese slathered over it. I’ve heard some people throw in a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips to the batter before baking…that certainly couldn’t hurt.
Pie in a Pumpkin
Not only was this a staple of early Thanksgiving dinners, rumor has it this was also one of George Washington’s favorite dishes.
1 5-7 pound pumpkin ½ teaspoon nutmeg
6 eggs 1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups whipping cream ¼ teaspoon ginger
½ cup brown sugar 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter
Cut the lid of the pumpkin (as if making a jack-o-lantern.) Save lid. Clean out fibers and seeds. Mix together all ingredients except butter; pour into pumpkin. Do not fill to the top—the custard will expand while baking. Top mixture with butter. Cover with pumpkin lid, using wooden toothpicks to keep it from falling into custard as it bakes. Bake at 3500 for 1-1 ½ hours, or until mixture inside pumpkin has set like custard. If mixture has not set after 1 hour, try removing the lid for the last 30 minutes of baking.
Serve from the pumpkin, scraping some meat from the pumpkin sides with each serving. Serves 8.
Susan Ellingburg is a natural-born Texan who sings at every opportunity, reads as much as possible, and cherishes every day she gets to spend with friends. She's a serious foodie and not-so-serious gardener who is determined not to let being single stand in the way of living an amazing life. Read Susan's blog at TastingGod.wordpress.com.
Publication date: November 20, 2012
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