Monday, September 13, 2010
So folks, I got a new camera, which has been good and bad--good for obvious reasons, and bad because I'm still trying to learn to work the darn thing. It has so many mega-pixels that Blogger can't handle the photos,and consequently, I've had many things I've wanted to share with you, but couldn't due to technical difficulties. Thankfully, I finally figured out how to make the necessary adjustments and so.....I'm baaaack!
And not a moment too soon, because apparently it's pumpkin season! Already? Seems early this year to me.
Speaking of pumpkin season, I don't know about you, but I was totally traumatized by last year's pumpkin shortage. I have one can left in my pantry that I've been hoarding since October just in case I was struck with the unstoppable urge to make pumpkin bread with chocolate chips. It was a minor comfort in an uncertain world, that I could have something that others could only dream of. That, and the fact that pumpkin was being auctioned off for big bucks on ebay meant I could sell it should our family come upon hard times...okay they weren't going for that much, but who would pay $30 for one can of pumpkin?!?
Someone who had an unstoppable urge to bake pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, that's who!
So imagine my surprise when I was at the market the other day and spied sugar pie pumpkins. I quickly put two in my cart, nearly giddy with the prospect of having even more pumpkin in my coffers, and feeling kind of smug, because surely canned pumpkin wasn't available yet--and who would go through the trouble to roast their own anyway besides freaks like me who like to do things the hard way? I could smell the pumpkin bread baking already....
Well, I rounded the corner and was met by a wall of--you guessed it!--canned pumpkin...canned organic pumpkin no less. There goes my emergency $$. Pumpkins are back, folks. We can all rest easy now. However, I didn't put those cute sugar pies back (mostly because I wanted to roast the seeds...), and I got 2 cups of delicious pumpkin puree out of each.
Some of which obviously went into a loaf of pumpkin bread with chocolate chips. The pumpkin bread I've been waiting to make all year. I wish I had been quicker with the camera because by the time I got to the kitchen all that was left was the heel. I turned my back for a second and even that was gone....just crumbs remained. That and the chocolate smears on the plate. Sigh. Next time, I'll double the recipe. Maybe you should too.
Roasted Sugar Pumpkins
Roasting pumpkins is much like roasting any other winter squash. Just make sure they are sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins first (not carving pumpkins which lack flavor). Cut them in half, scoop out those seeds (which I recommend roasting after tossing with a little salt and melted butter), and place them face down on a baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Scoop out the flesh, discard the skin, and mash the flesh until it is smooth. Sometimes pumpkin puree can be a bit watery. If it is, try draining it in a cheesecloth lined sieve for awhile.
Marion Cunningham's Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Fanny Farmer Cookbook
This loaf is spicy and dense, but not overly sweet. It's a wonderful snack with hot coffee or tea, but would also be a fantastic dessert if topped with cream cheese frosting (or a dollop of sweetened whipped cream).
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (or 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and spices in a large bowl.
3. Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs and water in another medium bowl.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk only until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Pour into a greased standard-sized loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
6. Turn out of the pan and cool on a rack.