Monday, October 17, 2016
A Kitchen Keeper Original - Harvest Moon Pumpkin Cake
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a wonderful cake for family or informal fall gatherings. It relies on fall harvest products, so I know you'll have no trouble purchasing or picking the ingredients needed to make this simple cake. You'll also be happy to know that the recipe is so easy that young and inexperienced cooks can put the cake together in a matter of minutes. The end result is a cake that is moist and delicious. It also transports well. I like to bake the cake in a 13 X 9-inch pan, but if you want something with greater presentation value, pull out your bundt pan and have a go at it. You'll have to plan on at least an hour for baking if you go the fancier route. I must admit I cheat a little when I make this cake. I soak my raisins or cranberries - cranberries are my preference - in orange liqueur because I've found it adds wonderful flavor to this amazingly simple cake. If you want really happy raisins, brandy or rum could also be used. Like most cakes that are made with fruit and nuts, the flavor of this one improves with age. I bake the cake at least a day before I plan to serve it, and because it is so moist, I like to keep it in the refrigerator to mellow. The cake can be served without icing, but the Silver Fox likes his with a dollop of whipped cream that's been flavored with orange liqueur. If I'm taking the cake to a meeting or another home, I'll dust the top of it with confectioners' sugar. I do hope you'll give this family treat a try. Using field pumpkins, apples from the orchard and cranberries scooped from the bog, would make this dessert truly spectacular, but we do have to get real here. So, take out your can opener and grab what you need from the pantry and have a go at this one. You won't be sorry. Here is how this pumpkin cake is made.
Harvest Moon Pumpkin Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect bite
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced apple, cut in 1/3-inch pieces
1 cup toasted walnuts, broken into medium-size pieces
1 (15-oz.) can plain pumpkin puree
2 cups light brown sugar
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil, corn oil, or other salad oil (not olive oil)
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
Optional: Confectioners sugar
1) Pour boiling water or orange juice over raisins or dried cranberries. Let sit for 20 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Set aside.
2) Adjust rack one-third up from bottom of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Line bottom with paper cut to fit and butter paper.
3) Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Combine drained raisins or cranberries, diced apples and nuts in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of flour mixture and toss to coat ingredients. Set aside.
4) In large bowl of electric mixer, combine pumpkin, sugar, and oil. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs individually, beating after each until incorporated.
5) On low speed add sifted dry ingredients, beating only until smooth. Remove from mixer. Stir in raisins, apple and nut. Turn into prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to level top.
6) Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out dry. Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes.
7) Cover cake with a rack and invert. Remove pan and paper. Cover with another rack and invert again. Cool right side up on the rack.
8) When cool, top may be dusted with confectioners sugar sifted through a fine mesh strainer.
Serve as is or with a generous spoonful of whipped cream. Yield: 10 to 12 servings.
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