Pumpkin Cranberry Bread:
1 cup (120 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 2/3 cups (215 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon orange zest (outer skin of orange) (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup (240 ml) canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup (60 ml) orange juice
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, one - 9 by 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan.
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, orange zest, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, and orange juice. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the chopped cranberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the bread for about 55 - 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes before removing bread from pan. Can serve warm, cold, or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or else freeze for later use.
Makes 1 loaf.
This eye catching, honey colored Pumpkin Cranberry Bread is flavored with pumpkin puree, its accompanying spices, orange juice, orange zest, and fresh cranberries. The fresh cranberries add color and a nice tart flavor to this Pumpkin Cranberry Bread. If fresh cranberries are not available, you could use dried cranberries or even dried cherries. Depending on the time of year I sometimes even replace the cranberries with raisins or chocolate chips.
The pumpkin has a long history in North America. The early colonists used it in both sweet and savory dishes, making stews, breads, porridges, puddings and pies. Fall is its harvest time which is when we use it most in our baking. I think that it is because its sweet, mild, earthy flavor seems more suited to the Fall/Winter months than in the heat of Summer.
Of course, there is no denying that the most popular pumpkin dessert is the pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving would not be complete without it. However, the pumpkin's flavor and smooth texture are also excellent in quick breads. Scones, muffins, and loaves are transformed when pumpkin puree, along with ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves are added. These breads take on a muted orange color and their texture is wonderfully dense and moist.
This Pumpkin Cranberry Bread recipe calls for canned pure pumpkin (do not buy the canned pumpkin that has the spices already added) but you can also make your own pumpkin puree. Just use the smaller pumpkin varieties like Sugar Pie, Baby Bear or Cheese Pumpkin (approximately 5-7 lbs., 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 kg.). Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, remove all the seeds and stringy fibers, and place cut-side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) for approximately 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours (depending on size) or until easily pierced with a knife. Scoop out the pulp and puree in a food processor until smooth. Then strain the puree through a piece of cheesecloth suspended over a strainer to extract all the liquid. Cool before using.