Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve and Cider Pumpkin Bread

Twas the night before... oh wait, that's the wrong holiday. It's 10:30 pm and I have already made my pie crusts. Four of them. I had to turn on the ceiling fan by the time I was on the third one because I was sweating from patting out that dough while standing next to a 450 degree oven. Slaving over a hot stove is about right!

The crusts are pre-baked and cooled, ready for the various fillings in the morning. My sweet potatoes are cooked and the Whiskey Maple Cream Sauce I made for the pecan pie is done and everything is in the fridge ready for finishing before we head over to my parent's house tomorrow.

The last thing I'm doing tonight is trying a new recipe I found while browsing the Food Network website. So far, I haven't been able to get links to post here, but if you search the recipe title on their site you will find it. It was submitted by a viewer and not one of the Food Network chefs, so the "FN chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore, we cannot make representation as to the results." Fine. Good thing they have me to do their work for them. Anyway, judging by how yummy the batter tasted, this one will be a keeper! I didn't have time to deal with photos tonight, but I'll post the recipe anyway.

Cider Pumpkin Bread

2 cups brown sugar (I won't say "packed", because when was the last time you ever saw a recipe where you don't pack the brown sugar?)

2 cups pumpkin puree (1 can)

2 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup apple cider

4 1/2 cups flour

2 Tablespoons baking powder (No, this isn't a typo, it really says 2 tablespoons)

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 cup raisins (If you don't like raisins, leave them out... I did.)

1 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine brown sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and cider. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix until moistened. Add raisins if you like them, and walnuts, and mix thoroughly. Divide the batter into 2 portions and pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Just to be different, I sprinkled some sugar on top of the batter. Place in oven (Really? Did they think we wouldn't know to do that?) and bake for 50 minutes. Cool in pans on rack until room temperature. Remove from pans and serve.

My loaf pans are these ginormous 10 inch things, so my quick breads usually turn out wide but not very high. This time I am experimenting with some of those little disposable foil loaf pans. These measure about 5 x 3-ish inches, and come in a package of 5 for $1.50 at Walmart. This recipe filled 7 of them. Since the pans are small, I cut the time down to 40 minutes - just guessing here. I just took a quick peek, and with 8 minutes of baking time left, they look beautiful! I will take a picture when they are done and post it later after the holiday craziness is over.

In the meantime, I want to wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving holiday. I know that I have so much to be thankful for today. More than you know.

Okay, the timer just went off. *runs into kitchen* I cannot wait to show you these loaves. They are gorgeous, 40 minutes was perfect. I did the "insert toothpick" test and it was perfectly clean. The sugar on top makes them look nice and sparkly, which is really cool if you like sparkly things. Hopefully they will cool quickly so I can wrap them up so I can go to bed. It's been a very long day!

Coming soon... Pecan Pie with Whiskey Maple Cream Sauce (courtesy of Pioneer Woman), and Toll House Pie (courtesy of my good friend Mary Beth.)

Update 11/26 Everyone was laughing at me yesterday because I made them wait until I got my pictures of the food before they could eat. The pumpkin bread is delicious! It's very moist, and the sugar on top adds a nice, subtle crunchy sweetness. This will be my go-to recipe for the future.

Here is the batter all ready for the oven:

One of the finished loaves:

A couple of slices: I love the pretty pumpkin color of this bread. I had it for breakfast this morning.

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