Pumpkin is in the Air (or Can)

12 Mar

It’s early March, yet I cannot hide my desire for a very un-Spring like treat. Pumpkin-anything is more of an October, November, or December food (as one of my Twitter followers put it), so using it out-of-season is a little uncharacteristic. However, in a fight between my senses and my stomach, my stomach wins every time—therefore, a pumpkin loaf shall steadily rise in my oven.

Since pumpkins are technically not in season, I unfortunately cannot cut up a fresh pumpkin myself. But, that should never deter a cook from using an out-of-season ingredient. There are many, many fantastic canned food brands out there – Libby’s, Farmer’s Market Organic, and a variety of others.

My local supermarket, Fairway, happen to only have Farmer’s Market Organic for pumpkin, so I grabbed three cans, and marched to the checkout aisle. For $1.99 per can (on-sale), I couldn’t have asked for a better deal in my time of pumpkin-need.

Note: if you end up with “too many” cans of pumpkin, do not fret. The canned pumpkin is not only great in loaf form, but also as a mixer for yogurt. I love using it in a bowl of Fage 0% Greek Yogurt.

I recently made a banana loaf (if you recall), so I decided to use the same recipe, but this time, subbing pumpkin for the bananas:

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (or 15 ounces) of Pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup hot water

The preparation process is the same as the banana loaf’s, but given that I’m using pumpkin, there could always be curveball.

Always pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees before mixing or measuring anything. Then take a large mixing bowl, and beat together the 1/2 cup honey and 1/3 cup vegetable oil until they’ve formed a nice glue. Add 2 eggs and continue to mix. Take the canned Pumpkin, and scrap out the entirety of the can into the bowl. Mix in a teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of salt as well.

All the steps before adding the flour into the mix seemed to go just like before, however, I noticed that the flour wasn’t getting absorbed as well as it did with the bananas. My hope was that the 1/4 cup hot water/1 teaspoon baking soda combination would help loosen up the batter a bit. Regardless, the pumpkin batter as a whole was certainly a lot thicker than the banana batter.

Grease down your loaf pan with anti-stick spray (I suggest Pam), and pour the batter into it. Bake for 55-60 minutes (continue to read the post to see why…), and then let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes before slicing. Letting a freshly baked loaf rest is one of the most difficult things to do in the world, so I suggest trying to occupy your time with an activity that doesn’t involve standing over the loaf with a sharp knife and a drooling mouth.

I hate to say it, but my initial concern about the thickness of the batter was correct. I had to pop the loaf back in for another 20+ minutes. So remember, for this recipe, make sure to bake it for 70+ minutes.

Minus the minor blip, in the end, you have yourself a delicious whole-wheat Pumpkin loaf. I’m also very glad I didn’t have to wait until next October, November, or December to eat it!

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