Recipe: Spicy Pumpkin-Currant Bread with Pepita Butter

This is a particularly tasty version of the pumpkin bread that pops up virtually everywhere this time of year.

It is exceedingly moist and rich, but not too sweet, with the currants and walnuts adding both texture and a tangy punch to the traditional pumpkin spice flavoring.

Of course, the Pepita Butter adds a whole new dimension to the flavor, as well.

Spicy Pumpkin-Currant Bread

The Bread:

1 15 oz can solid-pack pureed pumpkin
½ cup honey or maple syrup
½ cup canola oil
2 eggs, lightly whisked
½ cup 1% milk (soy, rice, or nutmilk can be substituted if necessary)
½ cup dried currants
½ cup chopped black walnuts or butternuts
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a 5 x 9 inch loaf pan or a clean 2 lb. coffee can (you’ll just have to drink that coffee first!) with cooking spray and set aside.

Spoon the pumpkin into a medium-sized mixing bowl. One at a time, blending completely before adding the next ingredient, add the honey, the canola oil, the whisked eggs and the milk. Finally, stir in the currants and the nuts. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Make a large well in the center of the bowl and pour in the pumpkin mixture. Stir gently until just blended, but do not overmix.

Pour the pumpkin batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 60 minutes. While the bread is baking, make the Pepita Butter (recipe follows). After one hour, test the bread with a toothpick or knife in the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, it is done. Otherwise, put it back in the oven for another 5-15 minutes, depending on your oven.

Place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. When the loaf has cooled slightly, use a butter knife to loosen it from the edges of the pan. Turn the loaf out onto the cooling rack and allow it to completely cool.

Serve hot or at room temperature, spread with Pepita Butter, for best flavor. Do not refrigerate, as this tends to dry out the loaf and mutes the flavors.

Yield: 1 loaf, 8-12 slices

For fresh, quality, naturally-grown cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves in this recipe, visit MySpiceSage by clicking on the banner below:

The Butter:

Organic Pepitas (No Shell Pumpkin Seeds)

Few drops of canola oil
Salt
Maple syrup or honey

Using a mortar and pestle, grind the pepitas with a little bit of oil to form a smooth, buttery spread. Add a dash of salt and enough honey or maple syrup to sweeten just slightly.

If you do not have a mortar and pestle, click on the link to the left to order. This is a particularly good mortar and pestle in that it is made of granite rather than marble (which reacts poorly to acidic ingredients and becomes discolored) and it is much sturdier than ceramic.