Walking through the markets of Strasbourg, I noticed huge chunks of pumpkin-like vegetables, so I bought some and then decided to try my hand at some pumpkin bread. But first, I had to make some pumpkin puree, which I had never done before. Turns out that it's not that hard.
I adapted this recipe from Closet Cooking, adding only that I covered the pumpkin slices with some foil (since I didn't have pumpkin halves) and then I let the pumpkin strain overnight in the fridge.
Pumpkin PureeBefore processing:
1. Cut the pumpkin in half.
2. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits.
3. Place the halves face done on a baking sheet. Or if you have smaller pieces, place them flesh-down and lightly cover the exposed flesh with foil.
4. Bake the pumpkin in a 400F oven until soft, about 30-90 minutes depending on how thick the pumpkin is.
5. Scoop the flesh from the pumpkin. Place the flesh in a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl and let sit overnight in the fridge (if the pumpkin seems overly watery).
6. Mash with a fork or put in a food processor and process until smooth.
I ended up with a lot of pumpkin puree, so I froze the leftovers in a cupcake pan in 1/2 cup portions. Then I threw them in a freezer bag to use later.
And finally, a couple of days later--I didn't say that this was a quick process!--I had time to make my pumpkin bread. The recipe was suggested by a friend (Thanks, Darcy!), and I found it to be extremely moist. It makes a ton of batter (enough for a big bundt cake and 4 muffins), so if you don't need that much, try halving it.
Pumpkin BreadAlthough this bread is yummy as is, when I get home to the States, I'll probably experiment with adding a swirl of cream cheese in the middle or make a cream cheese frosting. This cake isn't super sweet, so it could handle a dose of creamy richness.
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree or 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
2 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans or a bundt pan.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pan(s).
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. The time varies depending on the size of pan(s) you use.
Thanks again, Darcy, for the yummy recipe!