It’s October again and time to do something useful with the beautiful bright orange squashes and pumpkins we’ve grown over the winter.
In previous years I’ve made the classic pumpkin pie and, while I rather like it, hubby isn’t keen so this year, I’ve been busying myself trawling the internet looking for an alternative.
The first attempt was a Pumpkin Pound Cake recipe and, frankly, it was hopeless. The flavour was lovely but the texture was all wrong. It was an American recipe and my ‘cup’ of flour measurements must have been way out because the resulting cake was thick, stodgy and, although perfectly edible I wouldn’t want to offer a slice to a guest!
Many recipes seemed to be a basic carrot cake recipe made with pumpkin instead of carrot. Nice, but not what I wanted. I needed something that used home-made pumpkin puree.
Then someone gave me this –
250g pumpkin puree
125ml sunflower oil
300g caster sugar (sounds a lot but it is accurate)
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice.
First up, pumpkin puree.
Quarter the pumpkin and scrape out the seeds. Save those to make some toasted pumpkin seeds (again a recipe for one as my husband wrinkles his nose at them too!)
Then either pop them to roast in a slow oven until they’re soft or throw them in the slow cooker on high for 2.5 hours. I don’t put any water in with them as they have enough of their own.
Cut or scrape out the flesh and blend it.
Eh voila, pumpkin puree which you can divi up into freezer bags and freeze.
And so to the cake –
The method couldn’t be much easier.
Mix the wet ingredients together (pumpkin, oil and eggs) with the sugar.
Then mix the dry ingredients together – flour (sifted), bicarb, salt and spice.
When the oven’s up to temperature (180oC), mix everything together until combined but don’t beat it – a bit like a muffin recipe. Then pour it into a 2lb loaf tin lined with baking paper. I like to buy the pre-cut ones as it saves on faff. It will be very sloppy and probably a bit lumpy but fear not.
Bake for 50mins to an hour or until a skewer poked in the centre comes out clean.
Mine was a little dark on top (probably the large quantity of sugar) but after the previous disaster, I wanted to make sure it was cooked! It looks worse on camera than it did in the flesh. Next time I’ll keep a better eye on it and pop some foil on the top if it looks like it needs it.
I reckon a bit of vanilla extract would be a welcome addition but it passed the taste test with hubby and so all is well. And, as I have a load of pumpkin puree in the freezer for further experimentation maybe I’ll add some pumpkin or sunflower seeds, a glaze or icing or perhaps even go a bit wild and throw in some coconut. Yum.
Any suggestions welcome. What are you doing with your pumpkins this year?