It’s not that I don’t have two ripe bananas, it’s just that desire for a fall pumpkin flavor that inspires this play on my favorite banana bread. I stole a can of pumpkin from my dog’s pantry (she gets one teaspoon a day), but I only need 1 cup of it. I’ve looked around the web for the quantity of a single banana and 1 mashed banana is about 1/3 cup; it would be 2/3 cup for two bananas, but sometimes I use three, so I’m going with a cup of pumpkin. Canned pumpkin has about the same consistency as mashed banana, so it shouldn’t affect the bread’s outcome (I say with a little trepidation). I’m going to substitute brown sugar for the white sugar, though, and that could have a big change—a good one, I hope. The last change will be adding the spices I normally put in my pumpkin pie.
The loaves cracked in an interesting way, sort of all over, like a molasses cookie, instead of with one big center crack. I couldn’t wait to try it and was pleased with the combination of pumpkin and fresh ginger, which adds a little bite. The texture was moist, maybe more so than the original banana version, and just what I want in a fall nut bread.
Pumpkin Nut Bread
Preheat oven to 350°
Grease and flour two 4″ x 8″ loaf pans
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (adds a nice bite)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Add the pumpkin and beat until incorporated. Stir in spices.
- Add the flour, soda, and salt, mixing well—this makes a fairly stiff dough. Stir in nuts. Divide into two greased and floured pans and bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes, checking to see that the edges do not burn and that the center is done.
- Cool on a rack for about 15 minutes before turning out. Cool thoroughly before slicing (good for you if you can do that). For the best flavor, wrap and store overnight before slicing and eating.
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