The Pumpkins are Coming, The Pumpkins are Coming!

Actually, they’re already here — and in great abundance I might add — in supermarkets, at farm stands, and on doorsteps everywhere. In the kitchen, their tasty orange flesh is used in all kinds of recipes, from morning muffins to delicious breads and loaves. I personally love to make pumpkin bread, with a few cranberries added for color and tang, to serve now or freeze for later. You’ll find recipes like these in my Favorite Flavors of Ireland cookbook (now BOGO/buy one get one free). Order signed copies at www.irishcook.com

PUMPKIN-CRANBERRY BREAD

MAKES 2 LOAVES 

           

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

4 large eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin

1 cup fresh cranberries

1 cup chopped pecans

Whipped cream cheese for spreading (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 9-inch loaf pans and dust with flour; tap out excess.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt; stir in sugar.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture, and then stir in pumpkin, cranberries, and pecans.
  4. Transfer to prepared pans and bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert breads onto a wire rack, return to upright, and let cool completely.
  5. To serve, cut bread into slices and serve spread with whipped cream cheese, if desired. Loaves can be frozen.

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