Two Pumpkin Breads; Savory and Sweet

October 28th, 2016

Savory and Sweet Pumpkin Bread

We spent last weekend with good friends in Richlands, Virginia.  The occasion was an Apple Butter Festival to raise money for service dogs for wounded warriors.  Our friends Barbara and Jim are totally committed to their community and serving others.  Barbara’s insurance company hosts a fundraiser every year to make a difference.

Apple Butter

Apple butter is a highly concentrated  form of apple sauce. Making apple butter requires a whole day of stirring huge pots of bubbling apples over a wood fire.  All of the people attending the festival take their turns at stirring.  It was a cold blustery day but everyone had a good time.

Trust Point Insurance Apple Butter

This is John Marco, Barbara’s son and one of the officers of the company.  It is also his land and his brainchild.  Great job John Marco!

Apple Cider 2

Not only did this caring community make apple butter, but they also made apple cider.  When heated,we all grabbed cups of this warming brew.  Our lunch was pork barbecue and sides.  The pork was started the night before the event over glowing coals while the volunteers were still peeling apples for the cider and apple butter.  A community coming together for a worthy cause is a beautiful thing.

Pumpkin-Parmesan Bread

My pictures are not the best because I only had my phone.  But Barbara made this beautiful savory pumpkin bread as a side for our dinner after the festival.  It was slightly sweet but had a savory taste of Parmesan and sage.  It is something I would make again.

Pumpkin Streusal Bread

Our friend Jackie made this sweet Streusel Pumpkin Bread.  We served it the next morning for breakfast. It is another winner as far as I am concerned.  Friends coming together with food and outreach makes everyone feel good.

PUMPKIN-PARMESAN BREAD

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon pepper
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup canola oil
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup chopped sage (Barbara used less)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 2 (8″x4″) loaf pans with baking spray with flour.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger and pepper.  Add eggs and oil, beating well.  Stir in pumpkin, 3/4 cup Parmesan and sage.  Divide batter between prepared pans; Sprinkle tops with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Barbara’s took 55 minutes.

PRALINE PUMPKIN DATE BREAD

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped dates

Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2″x4 1/2″x2 1/2″ or 1 loaf pan, 9″x 5″x 3″, with shortening.  Make Praline Topping; set aside.

Mix sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs and pumpkin in large bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients except dates until well blended.  Stir in dates.  Pour batter into pans.  Sprinkle with topping.

Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing.

PRALINE TOPPING

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon butter, softened

Mix all ingredients until crumbly.

Printable Recipe Pumpkin-Parmesan Bread

Printable recipe Praline Pumpkin Date Bread

Yogurt Bread with Molasses

September 19th, 2016

Molasses Bread 4

A healthy bread is a wonderful choice for breakfast.  Warm out of the oven and smeared with a bit of butter it will get your day off to a great start.  When I saw this bread from Marian Bull on Food52 I knew that I would be making it.  The original recipe came from Mark Bittman, that former New York Times columnist who is known for his healthy take on eating.

The bread is hearty with white whole wheat flour and corn meal.  It is moist from the yogurt, molasses and cranberries, and is beautiful to the eye. At least it is beautiful to my former hippie eye.  I wrote a rather humorous post about our early “back to the land” lifestyle here.  You may get a laugh out of it.  Maturity has its perks.

Molasses Bread 2

Because it is a quick bread, it is easy to assemble and bake.  I have always been a bread person.  I have made my own yeast bread, bought quality loaves from local bakeries, and loved the baguettes from the French bakeries that we have visited.  This Yogurt Bread with Molasses has been added to my list of favorites.

YOGURT BREAD WITH MOLASSES (Marian Bull on Food52)

Makes one loaf

  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup medium- or coarse-grind cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 2/3 cup whole milk yogurt, or 1 1/2 cups whole milk + 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • Optional: 1 to 1 1/2 cups cranberries, chopped fruit, or nuts
  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  1. Preheat your oven to 325° F. If you’re using milk, mix it with the vinegar and set it aside.
  2. Mix together your dry ingredients in a wide bowl (rather than one with straight sides; this makes it easier to mix). Whisk your yogurt (or vinegary milk) with your molasses.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 batches, stirring in round, sweeping motions. Make sure to incorporate the flour at the bottom of the bowl. Mix until just combined. The dough should fizz, subtly, like a science experiment. It will be thick! If you’re adding in fruit, etc: Fold it in when there are still a few small pockets of flour.
  4. Slice a pat of butter into either a loaf pan or a 7-inch cast iron skillet. Put it into the oven until the butter melts. Remove, then swirl the butter around to grease the pan. Transfer batter into pan, without mixing it any further. (Be gentle!)
  5. Bake for one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted. Touch the top of the bread: it should give a little bit, and feel supple, but it should still resist your touch and not feel like there’s goo beneath there. Very important: Let the bread cool before you slice it. Yes, I’m serious.

Printable Recipe

Tomato Gravy and Biscuits

September 12th, 2016

Tomato Gravy 4

We had the family here over the Labor Day Weekend.  It was a marathon of good food, excellent wine, swimming, boating and games.  There is a special vibe to a multi-generational get together.  The grandparents, grown kids and the littles all contribute to the fun.  And all day long someone was always hungry!  The cookie container was emptied by the third day.

One morning David made this tomato gravy to go with our biscuits.  Of course we all love sausage gravy with biscuits, but this tomato gravy is also a winner.

Tomato Gravy 2V

The recipe came from my friend Barbara who lives in Virginia.  It  has been in her family for years and relies on the home canned tomatoes that her family puts by every year.  If you don’t have home canned tomatoes you can use whole canned tomatoes from the supermarket.

Tomato Gravy 3

Everyone loved the combination.  One of the Grands came back for seconds and thirds.  David made the tomato gravy.  I cheated and used frozen biscuits and fried up some sausage patties to go with everything.

Cassoulet Kit

As a hostess gift, I was given this fabulous D’artagnan Cassoulet Kit.  We enjoyed the wonderful duck confit and sausage casserole one evening on the porch.  It is beginning to cool down in the evenings so this was a perfect meal that was not too difficult to assemble.

This tomato gravy recipe is written in Barbara’s own words.  David guessed on some of the amounts.

BARABARA’S TOMATO GRAVY

This is all adjusted to taste and subject to trial and error!

2 28 ounce can of tomatoes – I prefer the ones we can fresh from the garden but the whole peeled tomatoes work just fine.  I would not buy the petite chopped tomatoes but coarsely chop the whole peeled ones.

Add salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of sugar ( D used 1 tablespoon ) to cut down on the acid.  Naturally, I add butter to flavor the gravy.  Adjust to your taste or diet. ( D used 1 tablespoon).

Cook the tomatoes down until about half the liquid is gone.  Mix about a cup of milk and flour ( I cheat and use the wondra flour about 1 to 2 tablespoons) and pour into tomatoes.

Stir until desired consistency and pour over biscuits!

Printable Recipe

Fig and Almond Cake

August 11th, 2016

 

Fig and Almond Cake 1

To continue with the fig bounty, I made this almond and fig cake.  I always keep some almond flour in the freezer for Financiers, those dainty French cakes in the shape of  gold bars.  I love almond flour and this cake has both the flour and almond extract.  I went easy with the extract because I find it very strong.

Fig and Almond Cake 2V

The cake was moist and studded with the halved figs.  It was perfect for an afternoon tea or with coffee for breakfast.  You could sprinkle it with powdered sugar or top it with a dollop of whipped cream.

Fig and Almond Cake 3

Now that all of my figs are gone, I am wishing for more.  I have heard from a local acquaintance who has a fig tree in her yard.  Hopefully she will share!  Talking about you Donna.

FIG AND ALMOND CAKE (Adapted from The New York Times)

4 Tablespoons butter, melted, plus butter for greasing pan
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar for sprinkling
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
12 to 14 rip figs

Heat oven to 375 degrees F/  Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan or pie pan; set aside.  Put almond flour, 1/4 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and stir to combine.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, honey and almond and vanilla extracts.  Add almond mixture and beat for a minute until batter is just mixed.  Pour batter into pan.

Remove stem from each fig and cut in half.  Arrange fig halves cut-side up over the batter.  Sprinkle figs with Demerara sugar and bake for 30 minutes, until golden outside and dry at center when probed with a cake tester.  Cool before serving.

Printable Recipe

Summer Berry Buckle

June 13th, 2016

Summer Berry Buckle 1

Our hearts are hurting right now with the senseless loss of life in Orlando, Florida.  I try to keep my blog free of political comments so you will hear none of that from me, but the tragedy that took so many lives has nothing to do with politics.  It is just a sad commentary on the hate that seems to permeate our otherwise great country.  The hate needs to stop.

When the world seems too much to bear, baking cookies for your neighbors or making a breakfast cake to share can be a small token of friendship that can tell people that you care.  Please do not lambast me for such a silly response to what has happened. I fully understand the complexity of our problems and the great loss.  We are trying to deal with it by being actively involved in finding solutions.  But no act of kindness is too small. Besides, baking is good for the soul.

Summer Berry Buckle 2v

This summer berry buckle is a fruit studded coffee cake.  It is more fruit than cake, but the combination is a wonderful summer treat.  Add whipped cream or ice cream and you have the perfect dessert to enjoy on the porch or deck.  Or serve it for breakfast with juice and coffee.  You may think that 4 1/2 cups of fruit is too much but it is not.  I used a pint of washed and dried blueberries, 1/2 pint of washed and dried raspberries and 1/2 pint of washed and dried blackberries.

Katie Praying

My nephew and his family live in Orlando and Paul’s daughter Katie made this sign to honor the fallen victims of the horrible tragedy.  Katie has a big heart.  It is not right that our young children should have to endure such horrors.  We all need to unite, without animosity, to find a solution.

Summer Berry Buckle close

Bake this Summer Berry Buckle to share with friends.  It is a small gesture of good will.

SUMMER BERRY BUCKLE ( The New York Times )

  • ½ cup/114 grams (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
  • ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar, more for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup/55 grams light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon/5 grams finely gratedlemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups/156 grams all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ½ cups summer berries (a mix of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or use any one kind)
  • Cinnamon, for dusting (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add lemon zest and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg and baking powder, and whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Gently fold berries into the batter, then spread batter in pan and sprinkle lightly with more granulated sugar. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until top is golden and cake is cooked through.
  5. Allow cake to cool, then sprinkle with cinnamon, if using, and confectioners’ sugar.

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.