When I first came to England, I was dismayed and frustrated at not being able to buy good ole American Libby’s pumpkin (in a can). I panicked and wondered how I would ever make my favourite autumn dessert…you guessed it…pumpkin pie.
Eventually, after I calmed down and started breathing again, I got onto my trusty computer and Googled ‘how to make pumpkin puree’. After all, the settlers didn’t have canned pumpkin…surely they made it from scratch…so why couldn’t a 21st century girl from Baltimore do the same? It didn’t take long to find what I was looking for. Several years have passed since that day and for a few years I didn’t make anything made of pumpkins. (I know, gasp!) One reason was that for at least two autumns, I was pregnant and pumpkins contain one of the highest amounts of Vitamin A of any vegetables. Vitamin A is something that is restricted during pregnancy because in high doses it can cause birth defects and liver toxicity. I’m sure a few pieces of pie wouldn’t have hurt anything, but I was slightly neurotic about these things…must have been the hormones.
Anyway, I digress! Back to the pumpkins…
This year, I decided it was time to get the autumn baking going again and ‘pumpkin anything’ was at the top of the list. Ree from The Pioneer Woman posted this great step-by-step on her blog about how to make roasted pumpkin puree. It sounded ridiculously easy and I love Ree’s recipes, so I gave it a try.
Finally, the beautiful puree was finished and next came the fun part~ using it to bake something scrumptious. I searched around the net, but in the end, I decided to try a recipe sent to me by one of my oldest and dearest friends. (Thanks Janis!) Here is what we ended up with… one loaf of pumpkin bread, one round pumpkin cake and 13 small pumpkin muffins. (!) Let me just tell you, she had warned me that she LOVES this recipe, and it did not disappoint. It is just the moistest, most yummy stuff you have ever tasted. Interestingly, the muffins were not as dense as the cake or bread, but I like that the same batter can give you such variation based on the baking tin.
Here is the recipe:
3 cups sugar… (I used 2 1/2 cups sugar and it was plenty sweet)
1 cup vegetable oil… (I used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
4 large eggs
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 cup warm water
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
- Lightly butter loaf pans.
- Beat 3 cups sugar, oil, eggs & pumpkin in large bowl.
- In another large bowl sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & spices.
- Stir into pumpkin mixture.
- Slowly mix in 2/3 cup water.
- Divide batter between pans.
- Bake approximately 1 hour.
- Transfer to rack to cool 10 minutes.
- Knife around edges then turn onto rack to cool.
Try this recipe….do it!