It's hard to let go of harvest time. Now that Halloween is over, the farmers are closing down their markets and the weather is taking a dip in our part of the world. I have to admit that I'm still in denial that the snow is actually coming and that the heavy overcoats and boots have to come out for another winter season.
My last visit to the market was a "see you next spring" visit. The dogs wanted to say their final farewell to their favourite booth.
The vendor never fails to give them each a small treat for coming to visit.
Next stop is the Scone Lady who actually goes by the name of The Tart Lady (on the left) Standing out there in the cold all day long can't possibly be fun. We talked about her scones looking like they're on steroids and I notice she's sized them down a little. Smart move and she can still sell them for the same amount.
Not only does she carry an array of tarts, the pies - oh my - to die for, let's also not forget the breads...
I thought I might see if the pumpkin farm had any pumpkins left. It looked pretty isolated but what the heck, let's have a look. I was greeted by one of the workers who told me they were just closing for the season and having a beer in the back. Huh? What time is it? It was about 10 a.m. Well, I guess it's cocktail hour somewhere in the world. The store was closed but he told me to just go help myself. What a jackpot!!!! He even sent his underling out with baskets to the field to help me take as many as I wanted. Okay, so I went a little nuts.
The grower told me that the key to fabulous pumpkin pie is to combine the puree from the pie pumpkins with the puree from the larger flat pumpkins (I don't remember what they're called)
The next step was to drag them all home - I'm not quite sure what I was thinking. Then on to making the puree.
Today is Tuesday which means it's Hearth and Soul Day; a weekly event that showcases REAL FOOD. Check it out at Girlichef , one of our hostesses.
1. Cut the pumpkins in half and clean out the seeds and the stringy bits. Turn them open side down into a roasting pan or cookie sheet and add about 3/4 cup of water to the pan. Put them into a 375 degree oven for about an hour or when a knife goes into the flesh very easily.
2. These are completely roasted. Scoop out the flesh and put it into the food processor and puree.
Voila - you have puree and it's economical and absolutely delicious. Use the puree the same way you would canned pumpkin. The only thing is that if you can imagine the size of this container filled with puree - I think I have about 6 of them. That can only mean you'll be seeing pumpkin recipes ad nauseum.
I subscribe to the Robin Hood Flour newsletter and as I was browsing through it, would you know that I found a recipe to begin the pumpkin marathon.
Here comes the first pumpkin recipe
Verdict: Absolutely moist and delicious and I'm making another bunch to give as holiday gifts.
Pumpkin Pecan Loaf Cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1 loaf (12 servings) - I doubled the recipe for 2.
Description: Bring the season to life with this moist and fragrant pumpkin loaf cake. Canned pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger and pecans are combined in a simple loaf cake recipe and then topped with chopped pecans and brown sugar. Make a double batch and freeze one for when guests pop by.
1/2 cup (125mL) Canola Oil
1 ½ cups (375mL) sugar
1 cup (250mL) pure canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/3 cup (75mL) milk
1 ½ cups (375mL) All Purpose Flour
1 tsp (5mL) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2mL) salt
1 tsp (5mL) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5mL) ground ginger
1/2 cup (125mL) chopped pecans
1/2 cup (125mL) chopped pecans
1/4 cup (50mL) packed brown sugar
2 tbsp (30mL) Canola Oil
1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Grease a 9” x 5” (22 cm x 12cm) loaf pan.
2. Combine oil and sugar in medium sized bowl. Blend in eggs, pumpkin and milk. Set aside. In separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add to pumpkin mixture. Stir in ½ cup (125mL) pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
3. Combine all ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over cake batter.
4. Bake in preheated oven, 60 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan.