Pumpkin Carrot Bread

I’ve told you how I feel about Halloween before, it’s not my favourite holiday.

But I have a confession to make about this particular Halloween. I bought a pumpkin to carve….and then it sat on a bookshelf until yesterday. Totally uncarved. It never got to scare little kids with an awesome ghoul-y face carved into it’s flesh, nor did it light up our stairwell for the kiddies to see. Also, the our own kids never got a chance to help me cut a face into a gourd. Sad isn’t it?

But then I thought about all the awesome pumpkin food I’ve been cooking up lately, and it got my creative juices flowing.

What’s hearty, satisfying and easy to make while the wee one naps?

Quick Bread. Of course!

The only trouble with making up recipes is sometimes they turn out slightly different than you had in mind. In this case, the recipe made a HUGE loaf of bread (but without leaking over the loaf pan….whew) and took a little longer than expected to cook. But according to some friends of mine on Twitter, 90 minutes is not too long to wait for perfection. Ha! Thank you Twitterverse.

So when making this recipe, remember this: It’s very easy and quick once you have everything ready to go, especially if you are making the pumpkin purée from scratch. So get your mise en place ready first! Then sit back and take a 90 minute breather as your house fills up with the scent of all things autumn.

For those not in the know, here’s a quick tutorial on how to make pumpkin purée from scratch, whether you have an itty bitty pumpkin or a gargantuan one. Just don’t be using an already carved Jack O’Lantern that’s been sitting out for two weeks. That is for the compost.

How to make pumpkin purée:

**Note from a reader and friend, Irina at Pastry Pal: A lot of pumpkins grown for carving are not very flavourful. Try to find smaller pumpkins labelled Sugar pumpkin, Cinderella pumpkin or ‘Rouge Vif d’Etampes’ for the best flavour.

Two ways:

Method #1 (for small pumpkins):

1. Cut a pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds (separating them from the guts) and save those for another use. Pepitas pesto anyone?
2.  Scrape out the rest of the guts and discard.
3. Lay on a baking sheet, cut side down and bake in a 375°F oven until tender (time will vary according to size).

Method #2 (for large pumpkins).

1. Follow directions for step one and two above.
2. Cut halves into wedges, brush with small amount of oil and bake at 375°F any which way you like on a baking tray until tender.

Once cooked, cool the pumpkin, scoop out the flesh and drain a bit over mesh or cheese cloth to remove excess water. Use immediately in recipes or freeze for later use.

One Year Ago: Greek Lamb Burgers

Pumpkin Carrot Bread

Yield: 1 very large loaf
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 90 minutes

2 cups pastry flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown butter (see method)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 4 loaf pan, set aside.
2. Whisk dry ingredients (sugar not included) together in a small bowl.
3. Melt butter in small sauté pan over medium heat, swirling as it melts. After it begins to foam up and then dissipate (it should be a golden brown colour) remove from heat.
4. Mix sugar and butter together. Add eggs, sour cream, vanilla, grated carrots, pumpkin purée and raisins.
5. Stir in dry ingredients.
6. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 90 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and cool in loaf pan on wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Turn out and finish cooling until at least room temperature.

Similarly delicious recipes from other blogs:

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Bread on Gluten Free Goddess
Pumpkin Bread Pudding on Smitten Kitchen
Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Buns on Back to the Cutting Board
Pumpkin French Toast on Panini Happy
Pumpkin Pie Bars on Joy the Baker

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