I was traveling for work most of last week, so it’s taken a few days (plus a really relaxing weekend) to feel like I’m caught back up on life. After five days crossing Thailand from East-to-West, I had my fill of amazing Thai food. I met a water buffalo in Sukothai, saw a sunset over Myanmar, and realized just how beautiful and diverse this country is.
I came home wanting homemade baked goods. Homemade baked goods with pumpkin – to be more precise. A few weeks ago I found this Pumpkin Cider Bread that was originally published in Gourmet magazine in 1991, and bookmarked it for the season’s first can of pumpkin. The recipe was only a paragraph long – came together in one bowl and, according to reviewers, stayed moist and soft for days after baking. Sounded pretty perfect.
And it was. I think that this may be the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever had.
I only ran into one issue when I bought something called “apple cider” at my local grocery store…
…only to get home and discover that it was just apple juice mixed with pomegranate juice.
I scrapped the apple cider altogether and used plain apple juice with great results. The only time-consuming aspect of the recipe calls for you to reduce the apple cider (or juice, if you live in Thailand) on the stovetop, but it’s worth taking that extra step. It concentrates the flavor down and is a sweet, fruity complement to the pumpkin.
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground mace
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease an 8½-by 4½-inch loaf pan with butter.
- In a saucepan boil the cider until it is reduced to about ¼ cup and let it cool. In a bowl whisk together well the pumpkin purée, the eggs, the oil, the brown sugar, the zest, and the reduced cider. Into the bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, the salt, the baking soda, the mace, the cinnamon, and the cloves, and stir the batter until it is just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (Note: Check the bread at about 35 minutes and cover with foil for the remainder of baking time if the surface has begun to brown.) Let the bread cool in the pan before serving.