Pumpkin-Orange Bread

I have to make some sort of pumpkin bread in the fall. This orange variation sounded lovely and resulted in a moist and tender loaf. My family didn’t appreciate the pepita garnish on the top of the loaf, but I thought that it added a nice crunch and contrasting texture. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I incorporated whole wheat flour and baked the loaf in my favorite Pullman loaf pan. Nice.

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • grated orange zest from 1 large orange (about 2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from 1/2 large orange)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a standard 9-by-5-inch loaf pan or Pullman loaf pan with butter and dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and nutmeg, 30 seconds.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together butter, pumpkin, eggs, orange zest and juice, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Make a well in flour mixture and pour pumpkin mixture into it.
  5. Stir together just until combined and no dry flour remains (do not overmix).
  6. Transfer to prepared pan and sprinkle top evenly with pepitas, pressing lightly to adhere.
  7. Bake until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour, 10 minutes for a standard loaf or about 35 minutes for a Pullman loaf.
  8. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then transfer loaf to a wire rack and let cool completely. Bread can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped in parchment-lined foil, up to 3 days.
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Green Curry Pork Tenderloin

While I’m sharing delicious green sauces, I have another one to share… Thai green curry this time. 🙂 Using prepared curry paste is a wonderful shortcut, making this dish an elegant weeknight meal.

This dish comes from my favorite column, R.S.V.P., in Bon Appetit magazine. Subscribers write in to request recipes for dishes that stayed in their minds after dining out. This recipe was adapted from Root Down in Denver, Colorado. I doubled the meat and marinade, and increased the amount of garlic and the cooking time (internal meat temperature).

We ate it with steamed spinach over brown Basmati rice. I served the tenderloin over the spinach and rice so that every component was smothered in the wonderful sauce.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

For the Tenderloin:

  •  1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (4 T) fresh orange juice
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • 2 T toasted sesame oil
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 to 1½ pounds each)
  • coarse salt
  • 1 T grapeseed or vegetable oil

For the Sauce & Assembly:

  • 1 T plus ½ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup prepared green curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest (from 1 lime)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 T agave nectar
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, plus more for serving
  • Unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas; for serving)
  • 1 to 2 pounds spinach, steamed until wilted, for serving
  • brown Basmati rice, for serving
  1.  Combine soy sauce, orange juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag. Add tenderloin meat; close bag, pressing out air. Chill, turning once, 4–12 hours.
  2. Remove tenderloin from marinade and pat dry; discard marinade. Season lightly with salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 250°.
  4. Heat grapeseed oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high.
  5. Cook tenderloin, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, 5 minutes total.
  6. Transfer pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of tenderloin registers 135°, 20–25 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.
  8. While meat is cooking, heat 1 T oil in a large saucepan over medium.
  9. Cook shallot and garlic, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  10. Add curry paste and lime zest and cook, stirring constantly, until paste is slightly darkened in color and very fragrant, about 4 minutes.
  11. Add coconut milk, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, 20–25 minutes. Let curry mixture cool.
  12. Transfer curry mixture to a blender and add agave, lime juice, ¼ cup cilantro, and 2 T water; blend until very smooth.
  13. With motor running, add remaining ½ cup oil in a steady stream; blend until sauce is thick and emulsified. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over medium just until warmed through.
  14. Serve pork over prepared rice and steamed spinach, topped with sauce, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds.

Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

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Single-Crust Damson Plum & Apple Pie

I “had” to make this wonderful weeknight pie with the Damson plums I received in my CSA share. 🙂 Apparently, they are too tart to be eaten raw and must be cooked. Lucky for me, I received over two pounds of them and was able to enjoy them in two different desserts!

The combination of tart fruit with a sweet cookie-like crust in this pie was absolutely delicious. Blending plums with apples was a wonderful bridge from summer to fall as well.

This recipe was adapted from The Guardian, contributed by Nigel Slater, via Smitten Kitchen. The original recipe used prune plums. It was almost a cobbler with its crumbly lid and oozing filling. Amazing.

I’m sharing my pie at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #138 this week, co-hosted by my friends Mollie @The Frugal Hausfrau and Johanne @French Gardener Dishes. Enjoy!

For the Pastry Lid:

  • 7 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (I used the zest from about 1/2 a naval orange.)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup plus 6 1/2 tablespoons (175 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse or flaky salt
  • milk or heavy cream, for brushing crust
  • turbinado or granulated sugar, for sprinkling crust
  • softly whipped, lightly sweetened cream, or vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional (unnecessary!)

For the Filling:

  • 1 pound ripe Damson plums or Italian prune plums, pitted and quartered
  • 1 pound apples, peeled, cored and cut into smaller chunks (I used Pink Lady apples.)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • squeeze or two of fresh orange juice
  1. Make the pastry lid: In a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in the lightly beaten egg and scrape down sides.
  3. Slowly add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat until combined.
  4. Scrape dough into a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, and stick in the freezer for 10 to 20 minutes, or until firmed up.
  5. Assemble the pie: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C or gas mark 4).
  6. Butter a pie dish. (I used cooking oil spray.)
  7. Add the fruit and sprinkle it with the sugar, cinnamon and orange juice. Gently toss the ingredients together once or twice. 
  8. Roll out the firmed-up lid dough between sheets of plastic wrap or on a very well floured counter.
  9. Gently lift it onto the pie and fold the edges underneath to fit the dish. Crimp the edges, as desired. (Note: The crust may tear- all the better to let juice erupt through.)
  10. Cut 4 vents in the top to allow steam to release and additional juice to bubble through.
  11. Brush the crust with milk or cream, sprinkle with sugar. 
  12. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until lightly golden on top, covering the edges after the first 15 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning.
  13. Scoop onto dishes and serve plain or with whipped cream or ice cream, as desired. (I thought it was perfect on its own!)

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Tropical Carrot, Turmeric, & Ginger Smoothie

This smoothie is the most unusual I’ve ever made- or tasted. It’s spicy but not too spicy. Savory but not too savory- thanks to the orange and mango. Super healthy. It was very ORANGE too! 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I substituted chia seeds for hemp seeds and dried turmeric for fresh. I was too cold to add the ice! It was a perfect lunch with a small handful of walnuts.

Yield: about 2 cups, one serving

  • 1 blood or navel orange, peel and white pith removed
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup frozen mango chunks
  • ⅔ cup coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon shelled raw hemp seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons finely grated peeled turmeric
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup ice
  1. Using smoothie or ice crush setting, purée orange, carrot, mango, coconut water, hemp/chia seeds, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, salt, and ½ cup ice in a blender until smooth. (I used a Vitamix.)

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Strawberry Slab Pie

Despite being overbooked with so many end of the school year activities- orchestra concerts, dance recitals, field days, parties- we have to squeeze in strawberry picking! The resulting year supply (a well-rationed year supply, mind you!) of strawberry-vanilla bean jam makes it SO worth it!!

After making my special jam, I love to try a new recipe to use our overflowing 8 quarts of mouthwatering strawberries. 🙂 This year the first new one was this amazing slab pie. The juice from the fresh berries resulted in a very syrupy pie. oozing… It also had a lovely hint of orange flavor. The crust was over the top buttery as well. Mmmmm.

This recipe was adapted from a Food and Wine “staff favorite” recipe contributed by Joanne Chang. I adapted the recipe to bake in a convection oven. Fabulous!

Yield: 6-8 servings

For the Pastry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and chilled
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cold whole milk
  • baking spray

For the Filling & Pie:

  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered (4 cups)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons sanding or turbinado sugar

To Make the Pastry:

  1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the flour, sugar and salt and mix at low speed.
  2. Add the butter and mix at medium speed until almost incorporated, with some pecan-size pieces remaining, about 1 minute.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the milk.
  4. With the machine on, drizzle the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until the pastry just starts to come together, about 30 seconds; it will be crumbly.
  5. Scrape the pastry onto a lightly floured work surface and gather it together. Using the heel of your hand, smear the pastry against the work surface to work in the butter. Form the pastry into a 1-inch-thick disk, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350° (on convection, if possible).
  7. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving 
3 inches of overhang on all sides.
  8. Cut one-third of the pastry off of the disk. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the smaller piece of pastry to an 8-inch square; transfer to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and refrigerate.
  9. Roll out the larger piece of pastry to a 12-inch square, about 1/4 inch thick. Ease the pastry into the prepared pan, pressing it into the corners and up the sides; trim the excess pastry, leaving no overhang.
  10. Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for about 25 minutes (convection) or up to 30 minutes (standard oven), until just pale golden and set. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper. Transfer the pan to a rack and let 
the crust cool completely.

To Make the Pie:

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the granulated sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and salt.
  2. Spread the filling in the pastry crust.
  3. Cover with the chilled piece of pastry crust, gently pressing it down around the edges.
  4. Brush the top with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the sanding sugar.
  5. Using a sharp paring knife, make six 2-inch-long slits in the top pastry.
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes (convection) or up to 50 minutes (standard oven), until the crust is deep golden.
  7. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool, at least 3 hours. Carefully lift the pie out of the pan and transfer to a platter before serving.

Note: The pie can be kept at room temperature overnight.

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Orange Chiffon Easter Bunny Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

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My grandmother was a wonderful baker. Years ago, My mom gave me a bunny cake pan that had been my grandmother’s, along with her bunny cake recipes. I take it out as an Easter decoration! 🙂 I always say that I am going to make a bunny cake for Easter but have been apprehensive; the cake pan is like a cake pop pan in that the batter is supposed to rise into the second half of the pan and fill the mold. This year, (finally!) I had the brilliant idea to bake each half of the bunny separately and then ice them together! Seems like an obvious solution now…. My mom was so happy to see the bunny cake! 🙂

This cake was incredibly moist, light, and bright-flavored from the orange zest and juice. This recipe was adapted from Cupcakes! via Wilde in the Kitchen and The Not So Creative Cook and was originally for 24 cupcakes. DELICIOUS!

Yield: Makes one Bunny cake or 24 standard cupcakes

For the Orange Chiffon Cake or Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup water
  • grated zest of one half of an orange, about 1 1/2 tsp
  • ¼ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed, about 1/2 of an orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F and prep the cake pan with cooking spray; alternatively prep 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Sift together cake flour, ¾ cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in oil, egg yolks, water, zest, juice and vanilla extract. Beat the mixture until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until whites are glossy and smooth.
  4. Add whites in three portions to the batter mixture, folding gently until no streaks remain.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan, about 1/4-inch below the top and/or pour about ¼ cup of batter into each muffin cup, should be about ¼-inch below the tops of the liner. Bake for 22-24 minutes (convection) for the cake, or 14 minutes for cupcakes (convection), or until tops are golden and cupcakes test done with a toothpick.
  6. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool for 1 minute in pan. Remove cupcakes from the pan and rest them on their sides to cool completely.

For the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting: (you will have extra if making the cake)

  • ½ cup butter, 1 stick, room temperature
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used light cream cheese)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 1/2 of an orange, about 1 1/2 tsp
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 jellybeans for the eyes & nose
  1. Cream together butter and cream cheese.
  2. Add vanilla and orange zest, beating until smooth.
  3. Add powdered sugar and salt; beat on medium for about 2 minutes, until frosting is light and fluffy.
  4. Frost one half of the bunny, then fill a pastry bag, with desired tip, with the remaining frosting. Pipe the seam. Frost the cupcakes.
  5. Glue jellybean eyes & nose to bunny with frosting.
  6. Dust the cake with powdered sugar & serve.

IMG_8427

I made a Carrot Cake Bunny Cake as well… Yes, a Bunny Cake Baking Monster has been created! TWO Bunny Cakes for one Easter… Madness! 🙂 I made a mistake by making half of this fabulous recipe to fill my mold. 😦 Because of the weight of the cake and the thickness of the cake (really the thinness!) it was not as successful in appearance as the Orange Chiffon Bunny Cake. It was sooooo delicious though! I used the orange cream cheese frosting as well. Next year, I will make the full recipe (as below) (with extra cupcakes) and post a new photo. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Jodi Elliot of Urban Farmer in Portland, Oregon. It was a “staff-favorite” recipe, my favorite recipes to make! I liked how the carrots were weighed versus measured after being grated. It was very moist and delicious!! I can hardly wait to make it again… 🙂

For the Carrot Cake:

  • 1 cup pecans (4 ounces)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter two 9-inch cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment. Butter the paper and flour the pans. (Alternatively, butter and flour the bunny mold and additional cupcake liners.
  2. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes, until fragrant. Cool and finely chop the pecans.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
  5. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar at high speed until pale, 5 minutes. Beat in the liquid ingredients.
  6. Beat in the dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in the carrots and pecans. Divide the batter between the pans and bake the cakes for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until springy and golden. Let the cakes cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then unmold the cakes and let cool completely.
  7. Frost, decorate, and dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar as in the Orange Chiffon Cake above. Serve.

One Year Ago:

Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp

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My friend who doesn’t eat dessert (crazy!) invited us to dinner. I like to bring dessert to her house to make sure we don’t skip an important course. 🙂 Her husband loves apple crisp and she loves the Barefoot Contessa, so this was the perfect recipe.

I made one huge tart (for the dinner party) and two mini-tarts (for us to enjoy the next day). The topping was fabulous! This recipe was adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties! Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That are Really Fun by Ina Garten. I used 2 1/2 pounds of McIntosh apples and 2 1/2 pounds of Cortland apples. Such a perfect autumn dessert- the house smelled wonderful while it baked too. We ate it warm with vanilla bean ice cream on the side.

Yield: Serves 10

For the Filling:

  • 5 pounds McIntosh or Macoun apples (I used 1/2 Cortland apples)
  • Grated zest of 1 naval orange
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 T freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

For the Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

IMG_5617

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 14 x 2-inch oval baking dish. (I used cooking spray on a round 12 x 1 1/2-inch tart dish, and 2 mini pie dishes.)
  2. Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the zests, juices, sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish(es).   IMG_5568
  3. Make the Topping: Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.
  4. Place the crisp on a sheet pan and bake for one hour for the large pan and one half hour for the small pans. The top should be brown and the apples bubbly. Serve warm- with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

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