It’s not really Fall, but….

This past weekend followed the trend this winter of mild, fall-like Missouri weather– only with no signs of jack-o-lanterns or crunchy, fallen leaves.  Instead, we had near-50 degree weather and birds chirping on naked tree branches… and it reminded me that, oh, hey, I have a can of pumpkin puree in our pantry!

It’s not like we didn’t make a pumpkin pie this past Thanksgiving or anything– the extra can was chilling out in the pantry out of habit.  You see, every summer I end up finding at least one random can of pumpkin puree when I clean out the pantry.  A number of Thanksgivings ago, I had full intentions of making a from-scratch delicious pumpkin pie.  But… then there was a pumpkin puree shortage.  I don’t know what in the what had happened, but every grocery store I went to that day (I swear I hit up at least three) was  OUT OF PUMPKIN PUREE.  Of course, they had a ton of Pumpkin Pie filling, so I had to resort to a not-from-scratch pumpkin pie that year… and ever since, I’ve instinctively picked up an extra can or two of pumpkin puree a solid month before November.  Just in case.  So if ever you need some pumpkin puree, you know your hook-up.  Well, scratch that.  I’m sorry; I’m going to continue to hoard my pumpkin.  Because of this delicious carby goodness:

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fresh out of the oven!

Pumpkin Loaf

(Adapted from allrecipes.com)

Makes two 5 x 8 loaf pans

Ingredients

1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree

4 Eggs

1/2 C vegetable oil

1/2 C unsweetened applesauce (if you use sweetened, you may want to scale back on sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 C water

1 C granulated sugar

1/2 C dark brown sugar

1/2 C light brown sugar

3 1/2 C flour (I did 2 1/2 C whole wheat flour + 1 C all-purpose)

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

pinch of ground ginger

1 1/2 C frozen white chocolate chips (stick these in the freezer for an hour so they don’t just ooze into puddles while baking)

Handful of old fashioned rolled oats to sprinkle on top (optional… or, you can even mix in 1/4 C  to the batter!)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease & flour the loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl, blend together the pumpkin puree, oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, sugars, and eggs.

3. In a smaller bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flour(s), baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.

4. Slowly stir in the contents of the smaller bowl into the large bowl, and then add in the water and white chocolate chips.  Remember not to overdo it on the mixing… we want a just-combined look.

5. Portion out the batter into the two loaf pans.  Sprinkle the oats on top if desired.  Pop in the oven, bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

6. Enjoy!  Some say this bread is even better the day after, but I disagree– who doesn’t love fresh-out-of-the-oven, fog-up-your-glasses bites of warm pumpkin bread dotted with near-melty chunks of white chocolate?  I may have drooled a little bit as I typed that extremely detailed food-porn sentence.

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