Some recipes are instant keepers. This is one of them ! While not an original recipe, my mother discovered this treasure while searching online. After a test run, it became our family recipe and has been presented as a thoughtful gift to loved ones on countless occasions. Many friends have asked for the recipe, so here it is !
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 15-oz can 100% pure pumpkin
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with butter and dust with flour or use cooking spray. Tip: my mother always saves the butter wrappers to use in the bottom of the loaf pans, which prevents a disaster.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, and pecans (if using). Whisk until well combined; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, a few minutes. Beat in the pumpkin. The mixture might look grainy and curdled at this point ─ that’s okay.
Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Tip: coating the raisins and pecans in the flour mixture before mixing will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly, and sprinkle with extra raisins and pecans, if desired.
Bake for 65 – 75 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Butter the tops of the loaves immediately !! This is a small detail that makes a palpable impact.
Let the loaves cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. (Or just leave in the pans to cool on their own.)
That’s it ! This recipe yields two regular sized loaves or five mini loaves. Moist and tender, the bread is almost foolproof ─ I’ve thrown the ingredients in out of order, barely followed the directions, used whole wheat flour and coconut sugar instead of the regulars and still, the bread turns out great. It makes a scrumptious snack any time of the day or year.
Toi, Toi, Toi,