Oh dear.? I made this last week and fell in love.? Everything about it is so autumn-y, so rustic, so hearty and yet so elegant.? It’s delicious too.? It was easy to make,?especially?if you start with canned pumpkin…my girlfriend Ressie and I did a fresh pumpkin/fresh apple cider swap, a step that makes this recipe extra tasty, but you won’t see that in directions.?It also adds a cross town trip for the exchange and about?an hour to prep time.
?We got this recipe from Serious Eats, a blog about cooking, baking, the Universe and Everything.? It’s an awesome blog, because they devote exclusive coverage to my heart’s desire, pizza, on another page.? The orignal recipe came from The Sweeter?Side of?Amy’s Bread, one in an awesome series of baking books from the NYC bakery.? Check them out in the This Just In Store, they rock.
Here is a link to the original recipe I found.? Below is the recipe as well, for those who don’t want to be distracted by all the other yummy possibilities at Serious Eats.? Be sure to read Stacey’s Notes at the bottom, to see how I tweaked this recipe.? As always, I never leave well enough alone!
Pumpkin Walnut Cranberry Quickbread
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 2/3 cups pumpkin puree
2 1/2 cups sugar
Zest of 1 small orange
7/8 cup water
4 1/8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg
2 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 cups cranberries
1 1/3 cups toasted walnut pieces
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top of the loaves
1. Position one rack in the top third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the loaf pans.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, cooled slightly, with the eggs. Whisk in the pumpkin puree and sugar. Stir the orange zest into the water then add to the pumpkin mixture and whisk to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and whisk together.
4. Pour the dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients and fold gently until almost combined, then add the cranberries and walnuts. Finish with a few gentle strokes combine without over-mixing.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle the top of each loaf lightly with the turbinado sugar, about 1 tablespoon per loaf, to form a crystal crust. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the loaf.
6. Cool the loaves in the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully turn them out of the pans and place the loaves on a wire rack until completely cooled. Wrap in plastic film and store in the refrigerator. These loaves keep well for 3 to 4 days, and freeze well if wrapped in plastic and then foil.
I baked this recipe in mini loaf pans and got 8 mini loaves.? I baked them for about 25 minutes, and tested the doneness after that.? No hard and fast baking time for mini loaves as each person’s oven is different.? I use a gas oven myself.
I used dried cranberries, macerated? in fresh apple cider that I heated on the stove.? I let them sit for about an hour.? Ooh-la-la did those babies taste good!!? I used fresh pumpkin (thanks again, Ressie!), and substituted black walnuts for regular.? The flavor was amazing.? I’ve had an ongoing love affair with walnuts for years, not just black ones. English ones too.? Either of them will work.
I didn’t have any turbinado sugar on hand, so I used Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar.? About a tablespoon sprinkled over the top of each loaf.? Made a gorgeous, yummy, crunchy crystal crust.? I used frozen orange zest, not fresh.? May as well be fresh if you freeze it, it’s citrus perfection, only colder.
This bread is so good I’ll be making it again and giving it away as part of my holiday gifts.? I hope you and yours will enjoy it as much as I do.? Thanks again to Serious Eats for publishing that recipe, and to the Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread for providing it!