Despite having stated on previous posts that I haven’t really been in a very pumpkin-y mood this year, both you and I knew only too well that it was only a matter of time before I was driven to bake some recipe or another. Inevitability some may say…
This spiced pumpkin pecan bread is so moist and tasteful that you will hardly believe it just came out of your oven with such very little effort on your part. Can you picture the whole scene for a moment? Mine would be something like this: I take a slice (or two, or even better, one large double size slice, so that one can still believe that one piece of this deliciousness is perfectly fine…), a glass of milk, hot cocoa, whatever-one-feels-like, my softest throw and a book.
Speaking of the inevitable, I’m afraid that this reminds me of when I first read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Nothing could have comforted me more in that moment than having a piece of this dreamy spiced pumpkin bread with me. So I guess I should reread it and resolve this little issue… I couldn’t exactly tell you what this book is about in just a few words, but I just loved the atmosphere and the feeling of anticipation throughout the whole story; it was almost overwhelming. I don’t know what it is about dystopian stories that make me feel so pleasantly unease. Does that make any sense to you? But then literary tastes are so varied and personal that I positively think there’s no point in trying to find a rational explanation for it.
Well, that inevitability that I mentioned above, has also led to a surplus of homemade pumpkin purée, which it is always really good news indeed. Now I need to decide on which recipe to bake next. Will it be pancakes, muffins, a cheesecake, cookies, perphaps a pie…? While I make up my mind, let me tell you the best news; leftover pumpkin purée can be stored in the fridge for up to one week. It also freezes really well for up to three months. I knew this was going to happen…
- 2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (220 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup (245 g) pumpkin purée
- ½ cup (120 ml) light olive oil (or any other vegetable oil of your choice)
- ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (60 g) pecans (or walnuts)
- ½ cup (60 g) confectioner's sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1½ - 2½ teaspoons fresh orange juice
- Preheat oven (electric) to 350º F (175ºC) and place a rack in the middle position.
- Butter a 9 x 5-inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt until totally combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer (either stand or manual), fitted with the paddle attachment, (or in a separate medium bowl), vigorously beat together eggs and sugar for 3-5 minutes until thick and pale.
- With the mixer running, gradually add oil until have a smooth mixture.
- Now add buttermilk and vanilla extract and mix until blended.
- Add pumpkin puree and mix well until totally combined.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and then gently pour the wet ingredients all at once into the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula stir until thoroughly combined, and no pockets of flour remain in the batter.
- Add coarsely chopped pecans and stir until perfectly distributed. (You can spare a few pecans halves to decorate).
- Spoon the batter into the buttered loaf pan and gently beat the pan a few times against the counter to release any air bubbles inside the batter.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a skewer or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unmolding. Let cool completely on a cooling rack (especially if you are planning on glazing your pumpkin bread).
- If you are not using the glaze, you can still garnish with a some pecan halves on top.
- In a small bowl, whisk together confectioner's sugar, cardamom, and orange juice until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should have a smooth and thick consistency (it should resemble that of honey in winter). If it turned out too thick or, on the contrary, too runny, gradually add either more juice or more confectioner's sugar respectively as needed.
- Pour on top of the cooled pumpkin bread allowing some to dribble down the sides.
- Let set before serving.
Cool completely before storing at room temperature in an airtight container.
- The addition of chocolate chips gives a whole new meaning to this pumpkin bread; ½ cup (85 g) will definitely do the trick. If doing so, add chocolate chips together with pecans/walnuts.