Sunday, October 23, 2011
Pumpkin Ginger Bread
The pumpkin patch early this morning.
Crew harvesting grapes in the vineyard.
Pumpkin Ginger Bread
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Despite my best efforts to avoid the crowds, the scene at the pumpkin patch was right out of Armageddon. Inbound traffic was fierce and folks who made it into the lot were jousting for parking spots. It was just after nine in the morning and I had foolishly thought the early hour would protect me from the crowds I knew would gather later in the day. The original plan was to buy a sugar pumpkin for baking, but the scene at points of entry and exit weakened my resolve and plan B immediately went into effect. Plan B involved making a u-turn, the type that makes grown men blanch, and heading to the supermarket to buy the pumpkin puree that I had foresworn because it's outrageously expensive this year. Once the pumpkin was squared away, I headed to a local winery to pick up a special order we had made for friends who love Oregon pinot noir. I had just pulled through the gates when I heard a pop that sounded suspiciously like a gun. The sound repeated again and again and then a parade of cars of various types and vintage pulled into the winery and parked by the side of the rode. Men and women emerged from the vehicles in clown-car fashion and headed into the vineyards with buckets in their hands. The grapes have been slow to ripen this year and the crews are only now able to harvest them. They are trying to stay a step ahead of the birds who are having a field day in the vineyards. The guns I heard are air rifles designed to scatter the birds and keep them from the grapes while the crews go about their work. I had hoped to share more pictures with you because it is fascinating to see the speed with which these folks work. However, the camera was obviously making some of them uncomfortable, so I decided to put it away and just watch what they were doing. This was not the place to even intimate "la migra." I spent more time there than I had intended and that meant I had swap out the recipe I planned to share with you today. I'm featuring a quick bread that I like to make at this time of year. It's a pumpkin bread that's flavored with ginger and orange zest and it's remarkably easy to assemble. I think those of you who try it will really be pleased. Here's the recipe.
Pumpkin Ginger Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1-1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted + butter for pans
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), + flour for pans
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (1-3/4 cups)
3 large eggs
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch (6-cup) loaf pans; set aside.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, orange zest and salt.
3) In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, pumpkin, melted butter, and eggs; add flour mixture, and stir until just combined.
4) Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; invert pans and transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves.
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