Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

Even though Halloween isn't a big deal in Germany -- last year I saw only a few trick or treaters -- there is still plenty of festive harvest time flair. There are corn mazes built at local farms, colored leaves and gourds adorn front doors and store windows, and the farmer’s market and local stores are overflowing with many different types of pumpkins and squash.
One that keeps catching my eye is a smallish, bright orange variety known as an ambercup. Not really a pumpkin, but a type of squash, the squash glossary on What's Cooking America, praises the ambercup fir its dry sweet tastes and extra long shelf life.

I wouldn't know anything about how long it lasts though. Whenever these little guys make it into my house they don't sit around very long. A few weeks ago I made a very yummy pumpkin soup. Most recently I used one to make a delicious batch of pumpkin bread. One average-sized, roasted ambercup yielded eight ounces of flesh, exactly what I needed for the following recipe.

2-pound pumpkin or winter squash
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Cut pumpkin or squash in half, remove seeds, and rub with oil. Place flesh-side on a baking sheet and roast until the flesh can be easily pierce with a fork, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven. When it is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and place flesh in a bowl.*

Reduce the oven's heat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, blend together oil, sugar, and eggs. Once thoroughly combine, mix in the roasted pumpkin. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking flour, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring to combine.

Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, approximately 1 hour. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan.

* The pumpkin or squash can be cooked up to three days in advance.

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