For years and years now, I’ve used canned pumpkin. There’s no shame in it, really. So long as you aren’t using pumpkin pie filling, canned pumpkin can be ok. It is easy, it is convenient, it is delicious. Canned pumpkin is a-okay. Until you’ve tried real pumpkin puree made from an actual pumpkin.
Friends, real pumpkin changes the game 100%. It is, surprisingly, much more subtle. It has a lightly sweet taste and leaves your pumpkin treats incredibly, unbelievably moist. I used real pumpkin in some pumpkin bread – the quintessential fall treat – and was beyond impressed with the results. It yielded a bread so moist, so tender, so delicious, it was devoured before I could even get it on the table. Well, almost.
The key to real pumpkin is to get a sugar pie pumpkin. Now, there’s some debate on this – mainly between my mom and I. She tells me that you can use a regular old jack-o-lantern pumpkin but I insist not. This time of year, sugar pie pumpkins are easily available at any grocery store so go for it. Grab one and carefully slice it in half, scooping out the seeds. Spray a baking sheet with a bit of non-stick spray and roast that baby at 425 degrees until fork tender. Let it cool and use your fork or spoon to scoop out the tender, yellow flesh.
If you are so inclined, you could swirl this in the food processor for a few seconds to get it really pureed. I skipped that step. For me, it was tender enough. But if you want, feel free. Add it to your treats and report back! Add it to this pumpkin bread for the most amazing pumpkin bread you’ll ever have.
- 15 ounces fresh pumpkin
- 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 3 cups white sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray.
- Combine pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, vegetable oil and maple syrup in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until completely incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until a knife comes out clean. Slice and serve with butter.