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For years now, I’ve recycled my Halloween pumpkins into pumpkin bread, muffins, and cookies. When my kids were younger I had to be sneaky about it. It upset them to see Mom carve up that jack o’lantern into pieces with the largest carving knife I had.
They soon learned to appreciate the results, however. There’s just something special about pumpkin bread made from real pumpkin—the one that sat on the front porch a few days ago, particularly.
It’s not hard to turn the pumpkin into a mash that works great for baking.
The day after Halloween I bring in the pumpkin, rinse it off in the sink, then cut it into pieces, either four or eight, depending on the size. I put the pieces skin-side down on a foil-lined pan and put them in a hot (450 degree) oven for about an hour or however long it takes for them to get soft enough that you can insert a fork with no trouble. You’ll usually see little puddles of liquid pooling the pieces when they’re ready.
I take out the pan, let it cool off, then slice off the top layer and the crispy edges. Slice the meat off the hard rind, discard the rind and crisp edges. Put the meat into a blender and mash it for a few seconds, as long as it takes to get fairly smooth. I measure it into one and two cup containers and store in refrigerator or freezer until I’m ready to use it. It freezes nicely and can be used for several months.
Here’s my favorite recipe for pumpkin bread:
3 cups self-rising flour (or 3 cup plain flour + 4-5 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. salt)
3 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 cup melted butter
Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Form a well in the center and eggs, pumpkin, and butter.
Stir until moistened.
Pour into 2 well-greased loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees, 45 – 50 minutes.
What’s your favorite fall food?
Since this post is part of Carrie Ann’s Autumn Harvest Blog Hop, I’ll choose a winner from among the commenters here, who’ll receive their choice of one of my books, plus a few other goodies.