In caseyou’re wondering why I don’t use canned pumpkin it’s because it’s unknown here.But what we do have are pieces of candied pumpkin, the ones I chopped and addedto the batter and used as a decoration on top of the maple glaze.
I went outand bought two big butternut squashes today, baked them, mashed them, let themdrain a long time, and put them in my refrigerator. I now have pumpkin puree(though technically I don’t, I have butternut squash) to bake a lot of things.A lot.
I still hadsome left from a few days ago when I finally made my first recipe using fresh mashedpumpkin. So far I’ve made this double pumpkin loaf, some pancakes with addedchocolate and loaves of walnut pumpkin bread, the real one involving yeast.
I don’tenvision my interest going away anytime soon, and that’s fine with me. It’s anew flavor for my taste buds and I like it. And baking with such a gorgeous orangeingredient just puts me in a good mood. Add spices and nuts and few things cango wrong. At least for the few hours I spend baking, cooking, photographing andwriting about it.
It’s agreat slice of sweet bread to eat by the way. But that’s not my aim. Like somany times I bake, it’s the pure pleasure of the act itself that interests me,not the actual eating. My friends are happy, they get tasty surprise gifts, my kitchen smell heavenly and my thighs remain the same.
A win-win situation.
The onlytime I remember eating pumpkin bread was last year while visiting a friend inPoughkeepsie, NY. Someone dropped by her house carrying a bag with slices ofdifferent breads. One was pumpkin, and though it tasted good, it was nothing tofile in my mind to try anytime soon. Definitely nothing worth the baking,mashing and draining involved.
But thenthis blog happened, and I found myself part of a few baking groups thatconstantly push my imagination. Oh, I’m so glad they do. Being in a differentseason than most food bloggers, not only do I have to substitute a lot, whichis fine with me since generally I like it, but I also end up celebrating more holidaysand simultaneous seasons than ever. Not that I’m complaining. Call it good collateral damage.
It turnsout that the first recipe I choose, is for a terribly moist, moderately spicedand gorgeously amber-coloured bread.
Pumpkin is here to stay. I even made my own jar of pumpkin pie spice.
PUMPKIN WALNUT LOAF
barely adapted from Cakes, by Maida Heatter
2 ½ cupssifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoonsbaking soda
2 teaspoonsPumpkin Pie Spice
2 cupsbrown sugar, firmly packed
½ cupvegetable oil
2 cupsbutternut squash puree
1 cupcandied pumpkin, cut into chunks
1 cupwalnuts, in large pieces
MapleGlaze, see below
Candiedpumpkin, to decorate
Preheatoven to 350ºF /180ºC. Butter two 8×4 inch loaf pans. Dust the pans with drybread crumbs.
In a bowlsift together flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spices.
With anelectric mixer, beat eggs, sugar and oil for 1 minute. Add puree and mix well.Stir in the candied pumpkin.
Add the dryingredients and mix only to incorporate. Finally add the nuts. Don’t overmix.
Pour intoprepared pans and bake for 1 hour or a bit more. They take a while to fullybake; the tester should come out clean.
Let cool onrack and unmold. Glaze and scatter candied pumpkin on top.
They keepat room tº for a few day if well wrapped.
Maple glaze: Put 1 cup powdered sugar in a medium bowl.Add 2 Tbs hot water and mix until no clumps remain. Add maple syrup (I usedabout 4 Tbs) until you reach desired consistency. It should be like thickhoney.