As we talked about a few days ago, my household and I are currently working our way through two large crates of apples. And as I've mentioned on the blog before, I like squash. A lot. So sometime last week, as I was plotting my next strategic attack against the glut of apples, I decided to employ a natural fall companion to the round red fruits: my old buddy, the squash. I had some potiron left over from the squash pasta I had made, so I cut it into a few pieces and threw it into a steamer basket set over some hot water. Ten minutes later, it was soft and scoopable, and peeled away from its thick green skin without putting up a fight. I mashed it up in a bowl until it was smooth, and, together with some flour, baking powder, sugar, oil, eggs, and of course those apples, made this:
It's a pumpkin apple bread, and if you take the 20 minutes needed to produce it (10, if you use canned pumpkin), it just might become your new favorite breakfast. Although this looks like a cake, it's really not that sweet; however, it is supremely moist thanks to all the apple bits nestled within, the perfect bed for some cool, tangy plain yogurt, sprinkled with brown sugar, which is how I took to eating this during the two mornings it was around for. In the mood for something a little sweeter, a little richer? Then stay tuned: I've got a recipe for a classic apple coffee cake coming up in Part III.
Pumpkin Apple Bread
Makes 1 loaf
Adapted from Libby's Pumpkin
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1 1/2 c. puréed pumpkin, or use canned pumpkin
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 large apples, cut into medium-sized chunks
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a medium-sized glass baking dish, or use a round bundt pan.
2. If using fresh pumpkin, take a small portion and cut it into large chunks, removing any seeds. Place in a steamer basket and steam, covered, until very tender, about 10 minutes. Remove. Peel skin away and discard; mash pumpkin in a bowl until smooth.
3. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
4. Whisk together the sugar, pumpkin purée, eggs, and vegetable oil. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Add apple chunks and stir to incorporate. Pour into prepared baking dish and shake the dish to distribute the batter evenly.
5. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool on a rack before slicing.