"Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater"...we all know the rhyme, and this time of year it is ever so true. I love pumpkin and I've been on a quest to make all kinds of comfort foods with it. Two weeks in a row I've made pumpkin bread and this week is clearly the taste winner. The bread is delightfully moist with big chunks of cranberry and apples. The almond crumble topping adds a tender crunch that offsets the cakelike texture of the bread.
I adapted a recipe from The Art and Soul of Baking and am very pleased. This is a fabulous book for anyone interested in baking. The recipes are direct and most are not too complicated. So far, I've not been disappointed with the resutls. Of course, I can't seem to leave a recipe alone... I made 1 1/2 times the amount (mostly because I didn't want to waste any pumpkin) and fiddled with add-ins and spices. I got 2 generous loaves out of the recipe...What's here will make one generous loaf.
Apple Cranberry Pumpkin Bread with Almond Crumble
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temp
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup neutral flavor vegetable oil (such as canola)
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 gala apple, peeled and cubed
1 generous handful of dried cranberries
Almond Crumble Topping
1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz)
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 c all purpose flour
1/3 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat a loaf pan with melted butter or high-heat canola oil spray and line it with a piece of parchment paper that extends 1" beyond the edge of both sides of the pan.
Make the topping: Place the butter and the sugar in the bowl of the mixer and beat on medium speed until very light in color, almost white, about 5 minutes. You may also use a hand mixer and a medium bowl, though you may need to beat the mixture a little longer to achieve the same results. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and the salt and bled well. Scrape down the bowl. Add the flour and the alond meal all at once and turn the speed to low. Blend for 15 to 20 seconds until the mixture forms small clumps about the size of small peas. Chill the topping in a bowl, covered, while making the bread.
Bread: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, and salt until thoroughly blended. Add fruit and toss to coat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Add the sugar and blend well. Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and blend well.
Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until blended and smooth. Use a spatula to scrape the batter into prepared loaf pan and level the top.
Drop the almond crumble topping on top of the pumpkin batter, evenly distributing the topping all over. Sprinkle the top with any additional ground almonds (up to a few tablespoons) and a dash of pumpkin pie spice.
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until the bread is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. To serve, cut into 1/2" thick slices by sawing gently with a serrated knife. Any leftovers should be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.