Oh dear, it has been so long since I last posted- I have still been crafting away here but there are always things to do around Christmas to drag me away from indulgences such as blogging! As mentioned before, baking is a Big Deal in my family, so while I’m here we have been turning out recipes old and new. Good old Nigella and Delia have been called to the fore for all things biscuity (and also for advice on cooking the VAST ham, now finished, to our utter amazement and greed) and cakey.
Of course the old family recipes are often the best, and the other day we made a pumpkin apple bread (cake!) which was a slice of warm, cinnamony yumminess. I know everyone out there is probably stuffed to the gunnels with chocolate, turkey etc, but this one’s a keeper, and my late Christmas gift to you, if there are any readers left out there after my spell of blogging inactivity!
Pumpkin Apple Bread
This recipe was given to my mother In Bogota, Colombia, and uses American measurements. It has a crunchy, sugary topping which is lovely but if you can’t be bothered or feel like something a bit less sweet, by all means leave it out. Marvellously, the recipe makes enough for two loaf pans and the cake plus topping freezes wonderfully. Mmmm.
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas mark 4.
For the topping–
1 tablespoon plain flour
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter
For the bread/cake–
3 cups plain flour
generous pinch of salt
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
2 cups of diced, boiled pumpkin (takes about 20 minutes) or, if you can get it, one 16oz can of pumpkin
3/4 cups vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, beaten lightly
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
Make the topping first: In a bowl, blend all the ingredients with the back of a spoon until the mixture resembles ‘coarse meal;’ not something I see every day I must say but a good description- ‘wet breadcrumbs’ would also suffice!
Grease two loaf pans.
Into a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. In another bowl whisk together the pumpkin, oil, sugar and eggs.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, stirring until well combined. Fold in the apples and divide the batter between the two pans. Sprinkle on the topping and bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes or until the tester comes out clean. Hasty or fan assisten ovens will take about 10 minutes less, so keep your eye on them.
Cool them in the pans on a rack for 30 minutes, then turn them out to cool completely- if you can wait that long!
Enjoy, and let me know how you get on with it. Merry Christmas to all!