Confession time: I’m not a baker. I don’t do cookies, cakes or pies as a general rule–not because I don’t know how–but because we don’t eat them. In fact, my mom is an amazing cook who taught me well, but her lessons can’t undo the following equation.
Desserts + my fam = uneaten waste.
Except in the fall. I could eat pumpkin anything until I passed out. I make a mean pumpkin muffin with delicious cream cheese filling. I have been in charge of baking the family pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving from the wee age of about 10–homemade crust included. My kindergarten teacher first hooked me on pumpkin cookies with raisins decades ago…her recipe is heavenly and has been passed on numerous times over the years. More recently, we’ve adopted a pumpkin cheesecake recipe, and for early morning appetites there’s pumpkin bread. I even think that eating baked squash for dinner is sinfully divine and should be classified as a treat.
Beyond that, I make apple crisp whenever someone passes along extra apples.
That’s it. Maybe it’s something about the fall and harvesting fresh produce that makes me love pumpkin so much, or maybe it’s my body naturally wanting to fatten up for the winter. Personally, I don’t care about the reason behind it, because nothing in the world is as delicious as the scent and flavor of fall baking.
And so I give you a touch of my childhood via my mom’s pumpkin bread which was handed down from her mom. Where the original recipe came from, I can only guess, so cannot attribute it properly if such attribution exists.
1. Place raisins in a large mixing bowl, cover with hot water and set aside to cool.
- 1 1/4 cup chopped raisins
- 1 cup hot water
2. Sift together the following ingredients and set aside.
- 3 3/4 cup flour
- 3 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
Mix together the following ingredients with the raisin mixture.
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/4 cup oil (I personally use olive oil)
- 2 cups pumpkin
- 1 1/4 cup chopped nuts
Add dry ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into 3 greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees 1 hour (until done). Cool in pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
As an added bonus, here’s my mom’s personal notes: Flavor improves after a couple of days. Also, loaves will keep for several weeks when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
What are your favorite fall flavors, and why?
Curious minds want to know.