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Halloween weekend, I roasted my first-ever pumpkin.  It was a sugar (pie) pumpkin I bought at the grocery store; I hoped to get a few cups of puree I could use in a soup, maybe enough for a batch of muffins, if I was lucky.  I also wanted to toast the seeds.  Oh, was I naive.  I evidently purchased the largest sugar pumpkin ever grown in Washington*, because I ended up with a full six cups of puree.  Whoa!  All of a sudden, I was scrambling for ideas.  I knew I didn’t want to bake with all of it.  Having a surplus gave me the ability to test some recipes I’ve had my eye on.

First up was the pumpkin pie fudge I made as a test for future batches of Christmas candy.  On Wednesday night, I made cheater’s pumpkin ravioli using wonton wrappers in place of pasta.  They were good: I made a sauce to accompany with sage & bleu cheese.  Sunday afternoon, I made a Maple Pumpkin Cake, more like a quick bread than a sheet or layer cake.  It has no frosting, which I like, and no “pie spices”, so it has a different feel than traditional pumpkin bread.  The recipe calls for olive oil and I have been curious lately about olive oil cakes, so I think that was what pushed it to the top of the to-bake list.  Plus, it used a full cup of pumpkin puree.

So, a week and a few days after roasting my pumpkin, I have about 3 cups left to use.  I plan to make soup tonight, but will not be able to use it all.  Looks like I will get to make those muffins after all, probably to put into the freezer.  The funniest part of my naivete?  I have two more equally-sized pumpkins in the utility room.  Two more.  I was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough puree for my Thanksgiving pie.  Live and learn.

Maple Pumpkin Cake (inspired by Vanilla Garlic)

  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. dark maple syrup
  • 1 T. bourbon or water
  • pepitas to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9″ x 15″ loaf pan and set aside.

Sift together flour, salt & baking soda.  In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, olive oil, maple syrup and bourbon or water.  Mix in eggs, one at a time.  Add dry ingredients and fold in, by hand, until just combined.  Don’t over-mix: the final product will be tough.

Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle with pepitas, if using.  Bake for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  (I was concerned at first that the top would be too brown, since the cake is baked uncovered for that long, but the crispy edges were our favorite part.)  Cool slightly before serving.

*This is an exaggeration.  I know it wasn’t the largest pumpkin ever, but I truly didn’t expect that it would produce so much puree.

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