I always have tinned pumpkin in my larder. Call it a North American thing, but my larder feels bare without at least one tin of pumpkin puree in it.
It's so handy to have and quick to use in soups, breads, pies, biscuits, cakes . . . they had some in Aldi just recently and I bought myself about 15 tins! *blush*
You can of course make your own when the grocery store shelves are filled with real pumpkins a bit later on in the season. It's not that hard to do, but it is somewhat time consuming.
Tinned pumpkin is so much easier and also always the right texture and consistency.
One of my favourite things to do with it is to make this tasty Pumpkin Spice bread. Long about this time of year when the days start to get shorter and the nights cooler, my heart longs for this delicious treat.
Moist from the pumpkin and delightfully spicy, this is fabulous just out of the oven . . . but, if you can resist it long enough, it gets even better after you let it sit for a few days!
Oh my but it is delicious sliced thickly and then toasted under the grill until the edges are crisp and golden . . . spread with cold butter . . . the butter melting into and gilding all the lovely little crevices.
Scrummy crunchy edges, with that demerara sugar crunch on top and the butter melting into that toasted moistness . . .
If there is a heaven on earth . . . I do believe I have died and gone there . . .
*Pumpkin Spice Bread*
Makes one 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf
A really tasty quick bread which is moist and spicy! Try it toasted and spread with butter. Yummo!!
100g of granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
85g dark soft brown sugar (1/2 cup packed)
1 large free range egg
1 large free range egg yolk
4 fluid ounces sunflower oil (1/2 cup)
6 fluid ounces of pumpkin puree (3/4 cup)**
100ml plus 1 TBS full fat yoghurt (1/3 cup plus 1 TBS)
140g plus 2 TBS plain flour (1 cup plus 2 TBS)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of ground white pepper
1 heaped dessertspoon of demerara sugar (Turbinado)
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a loaf tin really well and then line the bottom with some baking parchment and butter the parchment. Set aside.
Whisk together the sugars, egg and egg yolk, oil, pumpkin puree and yoghurt. In another bowl whisk the flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves and pepper together. Stir the wet ingredients gently into the dry ingredients, combining only until evenly moistened. Scrape into the prepared baking pan and level out. Sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over top.
Bake in the heated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until well risen , firm to the touch and slightly cracked on top. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.
**Note - It is very easy to make pumpkin puree. Peel and halve a small pumpkin, butternut squash or other squash. Scoop out the seeds, and any stringy pulp and discard. Place cut sides down on a lightly buttered baking tray with sides. Cover with foil, tightly, sealing the edges all around. Bale at 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5 for about an hour or so, until soft, depending on how large your pieces are. You want it to be very soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool until you can handle it easily. Scrape the flesh away from the skin and puree in a blender. Line a strainer with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and put the flesh in and allow it to drain overnight in the fridge. The next day discard any liquid that has drained off and the pumpkin puree will be ready to use.