Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pumpkin Bread With Cream Cheese Icing (& How To Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree)

This week I pureed one of the pumpkins from my garden.  I was so happy with how easy it was and how great the flavor was.  I used a medium sized pumpkin and got about 11 cups of puree!
With the fresh pumpkin, I made a couple of loaves of pumpkin bread.  Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors, especially for this time of year.  This bread was delicious and moist.  The cream cheese icing added a little more sweetness, but you could definitely eat the bread without it.  Either way, it will make you think of Autumn!

Pumpkin Bread With Cream Cheese Icing
adapted from: Better Homes and Garden

1 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
1/3 c. shortening
1 c. flour (again)

For the icing:
1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk

Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a loaf pan and set it aside.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves and stir it well.  Add the pumpkin, milk, eggs and shortening and beat it on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.  Add the 1 cup flour and mix it until it is blended.  Pour the batter into your loaf pan and bake it for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  In the meantime, make your icing by mixing together the softened cream cheese and vanilla until well blended.  Stir in the powdered sugar and then the milk and mix it well.  Drizzle the icing over the top of the hot bread, or slice it and then drizzle it.

How To Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

I consulted a number of websites, trying to figure out the best way to puree my pumpkin, and they were all very similar.  I will give the quick version of how to do this.

First: Wash your pumpkin, cut off the stem and cut the whole pumpkin in half.  Scoop out the seeds and pulp.

Second: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Rub a little canola oil on the cut surfaces of the pumpkin (inside).  Place the pumpkin face down on a cookie sheet (one with sides, in case it drips a little).  Roast the pumpkin for anywhere between 1 and 1 1/2 hours.  Mine cooked for almost 90 minutes.  When you can easily stab a fork into the top (outside) of the pumpkin, it is done.  Let your pumpkin cool for 10 minutes, or until you can handle it.
Third:  Peel the skin off of each half of your pumpkin.  I was able to do this using my fingers.  A knife helped to start the peel, but then it peeled away pretty easily.

Fourth:  Puree the cooked pumpkin in a food processor or blender until it is smooth.  Most websites said to strain some of the water out using cheesecloth.  Store the puree in airtight bags in the freezer, or make some yummy pumpkin bread right away!

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