I can’t take it anymore! I give in and am finally going to embrace the fact that autumn is here.
I’ve been trying to hold out, desperately clinging to summer’s fruit and veggie bounty. Pushing aside any thoughts of pumpkins and other winter squashes, stews, roasts. All of that delicious autumn comfort goodness.
Here in So Cal we have a skewed perception of seasons. We have about 1 1/2 seasons, instead of the traditional 4. It is great for extra months of growing a plethora of produce, but after growing up in an area with four seasons, I miss the changes a bit. Just a bit, until I remember sudden storms, power outages, slush, black ice, and other dark season unpleasantness. Maybe we’ll just go visit somewhere that has “seasonal” weather. In fact we just did, and that was the first step in me beginning to acknowledge that fall is here. It is hard to argue with golden Aspens touched by the first snowfall that autumn has arrived.
So when Diane made a request for a pumpkin coffeecake, I was game. Our recent trip combined with the local fall indicator (hot, dry Santa Ana winds) spurred me into autumn feasting mode. Time to get the comfort food mojo on!
Here’s the recipe I ended up with for a fluffy, spiced pumpkin coffeecake. It has a streusel-like topping with chopped nuts and brown sugar. The batter gets its kicks from fluffy cake flour, fresh grated ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and of course pumpkin puree. It was quite delicious. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!
Yield: one 9-inch cake
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
The cake flour will help make this coffeecake a little lighter, but if you only have regular all-purpose flour, use a bit less, just over 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour for the batter. For the topping it doesn't matter which flour you use. Use whichever your favorite nuts are for the topping. Some of our favorites are pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds). The raisins will bake best if soaked for about 30 minutes beforehand. We will usually soak them in dark rum for a little extra flavor, but if you want to tame it down a little, just soak in warm water.
To toast nuts, preheat an oven to 325°F. Spread the nuts out on a sheet pan and bake until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Or toast in a large dry skillet over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted.
Roast a pie pumpkin on a sheet pan at 375°F for about 1 hour or until soft when sides are pressed. Allow to cool, then split, scoop out seeds and remove flesh from skin. Puree flesh and store in an airtight container in the fridge.