Pumpkin Bread is one of the very first things I learned how to make. The idea of it is so simple: mix a can of pumpkin with some sugar and some eggs, add some flour, lots of spices (I went heavy on the nutmeg, the cinnamon, the cloves), and pour into a greased loaf pan. An hour later your apartment smells like the greatest seasonal candle ever invented, only better than a candle because you can eat it. No wonder I made pumpkin bread so often. Now that I’m a mature statesman of gastronomy (ahem) I thought I would elevate my pumpkin bread game by changing one of the components in a major way; a way that contains a major secret.
Now let’s get to the serious business at hand: Thanksgiving dessert.
Oh, I know what you’re going to tell me, that this is a pie holiday and that offering up a cake at Thanksgiving is like offering up a latke at Christmas. Well you’re speaking to a latke person at Christmas, so of course I’m going to steer you in a cake-direction—especially after that discussion in one of my podcasts where we determined that Christians are pie people and Jews are cake people. And if there’s one cake that Jews do better than anyone else, it’s cheesecake. And this one, with its combination of a pumpkin and chocolate is a whopper of a Thanksgiving dessert. It’s so good, your guests will actually be excited to eat it, which is more than I can say for pumpkin pie.
For as long as I’ve been cooking, I’ve been making the pumpkin bread you see in the above photo. (Proof: see this old post from 2004.) It’s one of the easiest recipes I know–dump a bunch of stuff into a bowl, stir it together, and bake it–and the rewards are rich: the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg will waft softly from the oven as you do the dishes and because the recipe makes two loaves, you can freeze one of them to enjoy later on in the month. The only tricky ingredient you’ll need to find is a can of pumpkin and that’s not tricky at all.
Yes that’s me up there in this month’s delicious new banner–another masterwork from Lindy–having baked The Great Pumpkin into a Great Pumpkin pie. (If you can’t see it, clear your cache and reload the site.) Thanks, of course, to the uber-talented Lindy and the ever-helpful Justin for making the site look great, as always.