I realize that my column last week may have made a great many of you nervous when I declared that the pumpkin spice phenomenon is on its way out. While I'll be glad to see fewer products labeled "pumpkin spice" – from boxed cereals to packages of crackers to bright orange colored coffee beverages – I think that pumpkin as an ingredient will always hold a steady and rightful place in fall and winter cooking.
Rather than ultra-trendy pumpkin spice everything, like smoothie bowls and pizzas, I think what we will see more of is an embrace of the basics, the classics, the tried-and-true pumpkin recipes. Never fear. Just because pumpkin spice is on its way out doesn't mean that traditional pumpkin pie is banished from your Thanksgiving table. I also think we can still thoroughly enjoy pumpkin in savory dishes, too, from velvety soups to spicy curries.
As we head into Halloween, by all means, don't hesitate to carve those pumpkins, make homemade pumpkin puree and roast the seeds.
This week, when I found myself with some extra canned pumpkin that needed to be used, I turned to an old standby – pumpkin quick bread. This is just the kind of pumpkin recipe that is probably here to stay. It's always good to have a solid pumpkin bread recipe to turn to when you want a loaf to give to a neighbor, bring to a dinner party or to send to a bake sale fundraiser. It's lovely with a cup of black coffee or tea. Spread of softened butter optional.
Pumpkin quick bread
Makes 1 loaf
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup brewed coffee
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, coffee and sugar until well combined. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine until it becomes a thick batter. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until set in the center. Allow the loaf to cool at least 20 minutes before turning out of the pan.
Maya Wilson lives in Kenai and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and your inquiry may appear in a future column.