I believe the best thing about starting a food blog in the fall really is the pumpkin everything. That, and the approach of Thanksgiving, one of the biggest food holidays of the year. (But those blogs are a-comin’.) Once you’ve got making your own pumpkin puree sorted, there really is no limit on where you can use this awesome squash. Many people who couldn’t stand the taste of things made with canned pumpkin find themselves swayed over by the taste of things made with fresh. My husband, Joey, is firmly on that list. First time he had a pie made with fresh pumpkin and scratch made crust, it was game on pumpkin time.
With a snow day firmly in the back pocket of the local residents, we found ourselves staying in a little longer than anticipated, but that’s okay because it led to pumpkin bread. Better than any coffee shop slice of bread out there, seriously. Especially when you pair it up with a lovely warm mug of hot coco with a small shot of chokecherry liqueur to kick it up.
Chokecherries are a regional berry. In the spring the valley is rolling with the white fragrant blooms, come late summer replaced with these tiny berries that are a little on the bitter side, but when sweetened are fantastic in sauces, jellies, and drinks. Willie’s Distillery makes a wonderful chokecherry liqueur, not to mention a pretty awesome huckleberry sweet cream liqueur. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love living here?)
Anywho! This pumpkin bread recipe features toasted pecans. You can leave them out if you wish. Or, you don’t even need to toast them, but then you’d be missing out on the toasted nutty flavor that’s released when all toasted and happy. Toasting up those nuts are easy. Grab a dry skillet, warm it up over a medium heat and add the nuts. Keep them moving, until there is a subtle color change and you can smell the nut. Remove those little guys from the heat and dump them into bowl and set aside.
makes 1 loaf
- 2 C flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 1/4 C oil
- 1/4 C yogurt
- 2 Tbsp buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 C pumpkin puree
- 1/2 C toasted and chopped pecans + additional for topping
Preheat oven to 325F, grease a loaf pan and set aside.
Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a small bowl with a whisk and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream egg, sugar, oil, and dairy till blended well. Stir in pumpkin thoroughly. Slowly add dry ingredients to pumpkin mix, stirring well. Finally mix in 1/2 C pecans. Batter will be slightly thick.
Pour batter into prepared pan and top with remaining nuts (if desired). Bake in oven 50 to 60 minutes. Bread is done when tester comes out of loaf clean.
Remove to a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack to finish cooling.
Slice and serve! Spread on a little butter or jam, or enjoy plain. It’s your bread, eat it the way you want.