Probably the most common use of pumpkin in America is to put it in pie.At least that’s what I’ve been hearing a lot lately.Imagine you’ve had a bumper crop of pumpkins and you’d like to share your bounty with some friends. “Hmmm. Thanks for the, um, pumpkin. I guess I’ll make pie.”
Beyond that, we seem to be at a sort of loss with what to do with it.
Don’t get me wrong, I know there are pumpkin lattes at the coffee joint around the corner, but most people aren’t going to look at a fresh pumpkin and think mmmmmm, coffee!
If you have a stash of Seminole pumpkins, like we do, choose the most deep orange one you can find.
Like sweet potatoes, Seminole pumpkins turn sweeter after you pick them and let them sit on the shelf for a little while (like a couple of weeks). A good indicator of this, I believe though you’d have to ask David for corroboration, is its deep orange color. When you first pick them they taste more vegetable-y. Later, when they’re more orange, the starches have converted to sugar and they are sweeter.
Cut the pumpkin in half width-wise and scrape out the seeds and stringy bits. Save those seeds! They can either be roasted for a delicious snack, or planted in the spring.
Then roast the pumpkin halves.
Once they’re roasted, scoop out the innards into a bowl…
…and mash them.
Next, grease and flour three loaf pans.
Sift together some flour, baking soda, nutmeg, salt and cinnamon.
Ok, I didn’t technically sift.
I just mixed the dry ingredients around in the mixer a bit. The bread will still turn out well.
Now put some butter, water, mashed pumpkin, vanilla, and eggs in a bowl…
…and beat them.
At this point you’re going to want to taste it and decide how much sugar to put in. Canned pumpkin, obviously, has a set amount of sugar in it. The Seminole pumpkins will very in natural sweetness, but generally they’re about twice as sweet as boring old pie pumpkins from the store.
The original recipe from my wonderful mother-in-law calls for 3 c. of sugar.
I recommend you add the sugar 1/4 to 1/2 c. at a time, mix and then taste. Think to yourself, Do I really want this any sweeter?
If the answer is “no” leave it where it is. Mix well.
Now pour the batter into the pans…
This is so very much worth the effort, which really isn’t that big a deal.
The kids ate the Seminole pumpkin bread straight. and still warm from the oven. I put some butter on it. Cream cheese would also be amazing.
Really, it’s just so very good it doesn’t matter how you eat it.
By the time I got to staging a final picture, we had plowed through most of a loaf. Actually, I’m not sure David got to eat any of this.
Hmmm, I guess that means I’ll have to make more.
Thanks, Mom for the recipe!
Here’s the more traditional format for the recipe.
Seminole Pumpkin Bread
Preparing the pumpkin
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut pumpkin in half width wise and scoop out seeds and stringy bits. Bake for 1 hour or until very soft when poked with a knife.
Scoop out the pumpkin and mash.
Baking the bread
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour three loaf pans.
3 1/3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. softened butter
2/3 c. water
2 c. cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
Add sugar, 1/4 to 1/2 c. at a time, to taste; mixing after each addition. Up to 3 c.
Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
Pour batter into loaf pans and bake until done (approximate 1 – 1.5 hours)
Enjoy, and don’t forget to save some for your hard-working, gardening husband!