Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin-Muffins-muffins-on-stand

Recipe adapted from Pumpkin Bread by Betty Crocker

published by Golden Press, New York, N.Y.

There’s nothing like pumpkin bread for brunch or snack time to remind you of how wonderful autumn is.  This recipe comes from the Betty Crocker cook book that I bought when Mark and I first got married, 30 years ago.  Usually I make a double batch and bake half into muffins and the other half into loaves for the freezer.  Be forewarned if you intend on making a double batch; this is a lot of batter.  The bowl of my Viking stand mixer holds 7 quarts and a double batch of this recipe fills the mixer bowl 3/4 of the way full.

Five years ago Mark’s Mom and Dad came to visit and the guys built our deck.  I knew Pepere meant business when he brought his very own jack hammer.  Talk about messy, our house was a construction zone for about 5 days.  However, the deck is a solid thing of beauty, and I’m so grateful to Pep for putting all his effort into its design and construction.  He added a lot of custom features into the design and I appreciate that very much.  He was in his glory leading a crew of men on a project, even though the crew only consisted of Mark and Bobby.  Plus, it was a great guy-bonding thing for all of them.  Mem and I were told to stay out of the way, and so we went shopping.  Hard to believe that it’s been five years.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

2/3 cup shortening

2  2/3 cup sugar

4 eggs

1-16 oz. can pumpkin

2/3 cup water

3 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon (I always use more)

1 teaspoon ground cloves (I always use more of this, too)

2/3 cup coarsely chopped nuts, optional

Pumpkin-Muffins-loaf

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, or if using muffin pans, grease bottom of each cup or use paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, mix the shortening and sugar.  Add the eggs, pumpkin and water.

Pumpkin-Muffins-pumpkin

3. Blend in the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves.  Stir in the nuts, if using.

4. Pour batter into pans.  If making muffins, fill the cups a little more than half full ( I use a large scoop that holds 3 Tablespoons).

Pumpkin-Muffins-batter-in-pans

5. Bake the muffins for 18-20 minutes.  If baking the bread in a loaf pan, bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool slightly and remove from pans.  Store in refrigerator.

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Building our deck

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The guys are hard at work!

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The crew at the end of a long day

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It’s all done but the staining… great job guys!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Toasted-Pumpkin-Seeds-sliced-pumpkin

October is finally here.  Crisp, bright days accompanied by cool nights make this the best time of year.  All kinds of fun stuff happens in October… pumpkin carving, baking, leaf peeping, football games.  I love the crinkly leaves and the sound they make when the wind catches them.  Hoodies and jackets come out of the closet, apple cider is kept warm on the stove, and everyone is digging out their crock-pots again.  If you are lucky, there is even a corn maze or pumpkin patch nearby that you can visit.

Every year when our kids were younger, we took them in early October to pick out their pumpkins.  I remember Bobby and Danielle being so excited as they chose their perfect pumpkin.  Then a few days before Halloween we would clean the guts out of the pumpkin and they would get to carve it.  On Halloween night we would place lit candles inside the jack-o-lanterns so that their creations could come to life.

Before they got to the really fun part (using a knife), they had to do the messy stuff.  Cleaning out a pumpkin can be kinda gross.  It is wet, stringy and smells weird.  I find it is easier to do if you use a big metal spoon to scrape all the fibers and seeds out into a big bowl.  Then, by hand, sift through the mess and extract the seeds.  If you are doing this with kids ( which I highly recommend), try to do it outside.

Toasting the seeds from your very own pumpkin is pretty cool.  Plus, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that the seeds taste like popcorn.  As our kids got older, we turned the pumpkin carving into an event.  Other families joined in with us; all the Moms made soup in their crock pots to share, and it was a messy, but fun day.  Just thinking about that makes me want to grab a mug of warm apple cider and visit a pumpkin patch.  Enjoy!

Toasted-Pumpkin-Seeds-pumpkins

Ingredients

1 pumpkin

oil

salt

Directions

1. After slicing the top off the pumpkin, use a big metal spoon to scrape the fibers and seeds into a bowl.  The outer skin on my little pumpkin was 1/8 inch thick and hard as a rock.  I had to have Mark slice the top off of the pumpkin for me.

Toasted-Pumpkin-Seeds-pumpkin-with-knife

2. Separate the seeds from the fibers (the gross part), and place in a bowl.  Pick out as much of the fibers and mush as possible.  Add water to cover the seeds.  Let soak a few minutes and then drain in a colander.  Using a paper towel, wipe the seeds.  This will remove any remaining strings as well as dry the seeds.Toasted-Pumpkin-Seeds-Mark-and-the-slime

Harvesting the seeds

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Soaking the seeds

Toasted-Pumpkin-Seeds-seeds-before-toasting

Seeds waiting to be baked

3. Sprinkle enough oil to lightly coat the seeds, salt them to your liking.  Mix well and pour seeds on a baking sheet.  Spread the seeds into a single layer.  Bake at 300°F. for about 30-40 minutes, or until slightly browned.

Toasted-Pumpkin-Seeds-toasted-seeds

Toasted seeds

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-latte

Recipe courtesy of

Confessions of a Bright Eyed Baker

Pumpkin Syrup Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground all spice

Pumpkin Spice Latte Ingredients

3/4 cup milk, steamed or foamed

2 Tablespoons pumpkin spice syrup, or to taste

2 shots espresso, or 1/2 cup brewed dark coffee

whipped cream for topping (optional)

pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon for topping (optional)

Pumpkin Syrup Directions

Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-simple-syrup

1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan set over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves.

Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-add-pumpkin-and-spices

2. Add pumpkin and spices, and whisk until smooth.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Pour into container, straining if desired. Store in the fridge and shake well before using.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Directions

1. Place desired amount of pumpkin syrup in a large thermos or mug. Add espresso or coffee and stir to combine. Pour frothed or steamed milk on top and stir lightly. I do not have a milk frother, so I used my immersion blender.  Top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.  The leftover syrup is delicious on ice cream or waffles, too.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Mousse Pie

Pumpkin-Mousse-Pie-slice-of-pie

Pumpkin Mousse Pie is courtesy of Lisa H. and Alton Brown

@ CookEatShare

Pumpkin Mousse

1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

15 ounce can pumpkin puree

1/3 cup milk

1 box (3.4 ounces) Jello-O© Pumpkin Spice Instant Pudding and Pie Filling

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Gingersnap Pie Crust

30 Gingersnaps

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 Tablespoon sugar

 

 Gingersnap Crust-Directions

Pumpkin-Mousse-Pie-Gingersnap-crust

1. Crush cookies;

Either place the cookies, about 10 at a time, in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush the cookies, or you can use a food processor to break up the cookies. Mix crushed cookies with butter and sugar.

2. Press mixture into a deep dish pie pan and bake for 10 minutes @ 350°F.

3. After the crust cools, add mousse filling and chill for at least 4 hours.

4. If you are making miniature pumpkin parfaits in mini dessert glasses, you do not need to bake the crust mixture. Instead, press about 1 Tablespoon crust mixture into the bottom of each mini dessert glass dish, add the pumpkin mousse filling and allow them to chill for at least 4 hours.

5. To garnish; top each mini dessert dish or serving of pie with a dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip©, and sprinkle with Gingersnap cookie crumbs.

Pumpkin Mousse-Directions

Pumpkin-Mousse-Pie-pumpkin-and-milk

1. With a stand or hand mixer, whip the cold cream until the mixture forms medium high peaks that hold their shape when the beaters are removed, set aside. Combine the pumpkin puree and milk in a bowl. Whisk together until smooth.

Pumpkin-Mousse-Pie-add-the-pudding

2. Add dry pudding mix and vanilla extract to the pumpkin/milk mixture and whisk until smooth.

Pumpkin-Mousse-Pie-add-the-cream

3. Add whipped cream to pumpkin mixture and stir together until well incorporated.

Pumpkin-Mousse-Pie-pie

4. Spoon into ramekins, cooled pie crust, or mini dessert glasses and chill for at least 4 hours, or until set.

After 4 hours, my pie was still soft, but very good.  I added a little cinnamon and sugar to the cream as I whipped it for the garnish. The Gingersnap cookies and the cinnamon were the perfect flavors and texture to compliment the velvety richness of the pumpkin mousse.  Enjoy!