Monday, October 1, 2012

Long Live Pumpkin.

It's October, which means everything on God's green earth is now available in pumpkin flavor.  Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin beer, pumpkin wine (ew?), pumpkin cookies, pumpkin fettuccini, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin ice-cream, pumpkin butter, pumpkin loaf, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soda, pumpkin soup, pumpkin Pop-Tarts, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin roll...I feel a Forest Gump reference coming on.  You can be offended by it's obnoxiousness, or you can embrace pumpkin for the few short weeks that it rules the world.  Personally, I love me some pumpkin, and every year I bake my signature pumpkin loaf to share with my awesome family and friends.  I started with a recipe that I found online a few years ago, and have tweaked it over the years to create the ultimate loaf of pumpkin heaven.  After many requests I'd like to finally share my recipe with you guys.

DIY SQUIRREL'S PUMPKIN LOAF



You'll need:
(1) can of pumpkin, 15 ounce
(1/2) cup of vegetable oil
(1/2) cup of applesauce
(2/3) cup of water
(4) eggs
(3) cups of white sugar

(2) teaspoons of baking soda
(1 1/2) teaspoons of salt
(3 1/2) cups of flour
(1 1/4) teaspoon of cinnamon
(1) teaspoon of nutmeg
(1/2) teaspoon of ground cloves
(1/2) teaspoon of ginger

(2-3) loaf pans, depending on size.  The original recipe makes (3) 7x3" loaf pans.  I usually use a 9" loaf pan and a smaller loaf pan.

Optional: cream cheese frosting

Preheat your oven to 350F, and lather up your pans with butter, Crisco, or Pam baking spray (I prefer to use Pam baking spray).

Combine pumpkin, veggie oil, applesauce, water, eggs, and sugar until well blended.  In a smaller bowl, whisk baking soda, salt, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.  Gradually stir the dry spice mix into the pumpkin mix until just blended.  Dispense your mixture into your greased pans.

Bake for 50 to 70 minutes (depends on your pan size; the bigger the pan, the longer it bakes).  You'll know it's ready when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  You can also use a muffin pan to make pumpkin muffins, which will bake for less time -- keep an eye on them and take them out when they're brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

A slice of this pumpkin loaf makes for an awesome breakfast, but you can also dress it up with some cream cheese frosting and make it more of a savory sweet treat.  I've even gone as far as frosting an entire loaf and coating it in orange and yellow sugar sprinkles...talk about a party in your mouth.  Baking this loaf will also make your house smell utterly divine and may inspire you to immediately run outside frolic in a pile of leaves.  You've been warned.

Long live pumpkin.




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