Clearing my freezer : Homemade pumpkin puree. I'm clearing my freezer ever so slowly! I have about slightly more than half a cup of homemade pumpkin puree in my freezer that I really needed to clear (and a lot of other stuffs too!). Browse my cookbooks collection for some simple recipe using pumpkin and found it from the book "The Weekend Baker", by Abigail Johnson Dodge. Another keeper recipe from this lovely book.
When I read through the recipe, it sounds like making muffins to me. The dry ingredients and wet ingredients are mixed until just blended and bake. The only difference is, this is baked in a 8" square pan. But I have made only half of the recipe, and have used a 6" round cake pan instead. I think that even a 7" square pan would be alright. The recipes calls for the pan to be greased generously at the bottom and sides, and scatter with the finely chopped pecan nuts. But I have scattered the bottom of the pan only, with the nuts, leaving the sides free.
As usual, I have reduced the amount of brown sugar, for half a recipe I have used only 80gm (original amount for half a recipe is 115gm), and I find it still a little too sweet for me. Since I have about 170gm of pumpkin puree, I have used all of it.
This is one lovely cake. The texture is moist, soft with tender crumbs. The addition of the pecan nuts at the bottom and the top of the cake is really nice. A delicious cake with nice pumpkin and spice flavour. Though, if I make this again, I would further reduce the amount of sugar. If you have some pumpkin puree stash away in your freezer, you might want to give this a try. I'm sure that you will like this cake.
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Pecan-Crusted Pumpkin Squares
(adapted from "The Weekend Baker", Abigail Johnson Dodge)
3/4 cup (3 ounces/85 gms) finely chopped pecans (no need to toast)
1-3/4 cups (8 ounces/227 gms) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (8 ounces/227 gms) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup (8 ounces/227 gms) canned solid-pack pumpkin (not seasoned pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup (4 fl ounces/117 ml) canola or corn oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Position an oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 350F (180C). Generously butter - be generous or the nuts won't stick - the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20cm) square baking dish. Add the nuts and tilt the pan to coat the bottom and sides evenly. Carefully spill out and save the excess nuts for the top.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves. Whisk until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. (You can prepare the dry ingredients and wet ingredients up to 1 day ahead. Cover the dry ingredients and keep at room temperature, and cover the wet ingredients and keep in the fridge). Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and gently stir just until blended.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Scatter the reserved nuts evenly over the batter. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the centre comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into 2-inch (5cm) squares.
Storage : Wrap the uncut, cooled square in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.