WRITTEN ON October 19th, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Baking, Breakfast, Dessert

Ode to a pumpkin.  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  More than a hot shower after a day in the cold and rain.  Certainly as much as your friend and cousin the butternut squash.  I’d take you over a Ravens win any day.  Ok.  Well, not really.  That one was a lie.  I guess it’s true, you always hurt the ones you love.  That said, whenever the weather turns crisp and cool, my pumpkin cravings spike.  Soup, seeds, roasted pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie.  My mouth is already watering.  Year after year, I make this bread as my first pumpkin fix of the season. It’s warm and spicy and moist.  I know what you’re thinking: pumpkin pie filling?  Purists would blanch at the thought.  That said, I find that using the canned filling mix instead of plain old canned pumpkin actually allows me to use less sugar in the bread.  The pie filling is already lightly sweetened, so with just a bit of added sugar, it balances perfectly, rather than using over a cup and  a half of sugar that tends to make a rather cloying bread. It’s perfect for breakfast, snacks or dessert.  So try this one on for size, with a cup of tea on a chilly afternoon.  You won’t be disappointed.

Ode to a pumpkin

Ode to a pumpkin

Pumpkin Bread
1 1/3 cups flour
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
6 tbsp butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
zest of ½ an orange
1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin pie filling
½ cup pecan pieces
½ cup yellow raisins
Preheat oven to 350.  Combine first 7 dry ingredients in a small bowl.  In a another small bowl, combine milk, vanilla and orange zest. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy.  Add sugar, continue to whip until combined. Add eggs, beat until incorporated, then do the same with the pumpkin. Add half of the flour mixture, beat until just incorporated. Add half of the milk mixture, beat to incorporate.  Repeat with the rest of the flour and the milk mixtures.  Finally, fold in nuts and raisins.  Pour into a well greased loaf pan and bake in oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack, turning out of pan after about 10 minutes.

Loafin' around...

Loafin' around...

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