27 October 2007
The other day I was working on a recipe and I Googled the words "pumpkin dumplings" and among the results that came up was a recipe for pumpkin gingerbread. Hmmm, I don't know if Google needs a cooking lesson, but I immediately thought that pumpkin gingerbread sounded really good. Now is the season for winter squash gluttony, everything from pumpkin soup, pumpkin cannelloni, pumpkin butter, pumpkin pancakes, but somehow the idea of a pumpkin gingerbread had never crossed my mind before (I usually make this pumpkin loaf). So later that week after I had made the dumplings, there was leftover pumpkin puree sitting in the fridge and I saw my opportunity.
It's been horribly rainy and cold here, I've come home with soaking wet shoes and pants every day this week, and telling myself it's good for the plants does not make my toes feel any warmer. And after arriving home I get to go back outside and stand in the rain some more with our new little puppy saying, "please, please just pee so we can go back inside now." She, apparently, would rather roll in fronds of wet loriape than go inside and make gingerbread. I need to work on that.
Back inside, I turned the space heater directly towards my wet toes, warmed fingers over the heating oven, and stirred together the batter. As it baked, the house filled with its sumptuous smell, soothing frazzled weekday nerves and melding with the patter of rain outside. Judging by how fast it was devoured (less than 48 hours?) and the fact that it comes together in mere minutes, I'd say this recipe is a keeper. I'd even withstand a few more rainy days, and look forward to the coming cold nights, if this gingerbread is on order.
Moist with pumpkin and warm with spices, this autumn quick bread comes together in minutes. We like it sliced and spread with cream cheese.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp each cinnamon, allspice
1/4 tsp each cloves, nutmeg, ginger
1 cup pureed pumpkin (homemade or canned)
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9" loaf pan. Combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, leavening, spices) in a large bowl. Combine the wet ingredients (pumpkin, molasses, egg, oil milk) in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with about 10 vigorous strokes to combine.
2. Pour into prepared pan. Bake ~45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Cool on a rack.