Vegan MoFo Day 3 : Pumpkin Pie Pudding Bread (virtually fat free!)

Who wants some Pumpkin Pie Pudding Bread? I bet you do! It’s easy and delicious! And if my calculations are correct, almost fat free! People like fat free, right?

This isn’t ordinary pumpkin bread, it’s more like a British pudding in both texture and density.  What I was going for was basically a crustless pumpkin pie in a “cake” form (here in France we call anything, savory or sweet, baked in a loaf pan a cake).  It’s almost like a custard bread.  Still haven’t decided on a name.

The impetus of this creation was from talking with my newly vegan Auntie J (I’ll tell you more about her soon. Let’s just say she’s a rock star.) who was shocked at all the fat in the vegan and vegetarian cookbooks she’d seen. I agreed. And we were both craving pumpkin.  This was a few weeks ago, before I actually had pumpkins in my possession.

After giving things some thought, and thinking of ways to replace oil and give a dense, pumpkin custard sort of texture, I opted for apple sauce.  I tried puréed prunes, but they really changed the flavour.  The flaxseeds add some fat I suppose, but it’s pretty low as this makes two “cakes”.

I want to repeat – this is not your typical pumpkin bread!  Please don’t email me telling me that your bread turned out more like pumpkin pie than a loaf of bread. I know.  That’s what it’s so many kinds of awesome.

Now that you’ve got your pumpkin purée, nothing is holding you back, so let’s go!

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Bread

3 tbs ground flaxseeds

1/2 c. water

1/4 c. brown sugar*

1/4 c. sugar*

1 1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce

1 1/2 c. pumpkin purée (about 400g fresh)

3 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

(*This is plenty sweet for my family, but if you like boost it up to 1/2 cup.)

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c/350°f and spray two loaf pans (I used 20cm)

Mix the flax seeds with the water until frothy, then add the sugars, applesauce and pumpkin and mix well.

In another bowl, simply stir together the remaining ingredients until combined, then combine with the wet ingredients.  Stir until just mixed and don’t fret it there are little floury spots.  Have faith!  It’s going to be fine!

Pour into the prepared pans and bake for about an hour, probably more.  Test for doneness after about 45 minutes with a toothpick just to be sure, though.

Here is the most important part – wait! Do not cut into this right away, in fact, for optimum pumpkin pie deliciousness, I would lightly cover in tinfoil or in a sealable container over night.  I know it’s a long time, but the results are worth it!

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Vegan MoFo Day 1 : How to roast a pumpkin or How to make pumpkin purée!

Let’s bake a pumpkin!

First, rinse off your pumpkin to free it of any dust or dirt.

Cut your pumpkin in half. Smaller pumpkins tend to be sweeter, so go for those if you can. They are easier to cut, too!  If you pumpkin is on the larger side (like this one) cut in thirds or quarters (or any way you can without cutting yourself!).

Scoop out the guts! This is our favourite part and I always have help from Guppy for this. Of course.

Use a spoon (metal measuring spoons work great here, but a regular metal spoon is fine!) to get out the stringies. Don’t worry – there will be some left and it’s ok.

Place your pumpkin flesh-side down into a large baking dish or roasting pan. Add a little water – a few centimeters or maybe an inch, depending on where you live.

Let’s bake! Put your pumpkin an oven heated to 175°c/350°F until it’s melty-soft (how’s that for some official baking lingo?). This can be from 45 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the size of your fruit (yes, pumpkin is a fruit!).  Just check it with the highly technical “stick it with a fork” move. When it’s falling from the peel easily when coaxed by the fork it’s time to take it out of the oven.

It’s hot! Let it cool a little (or use tongs and safety equipment if you’re pressed for time) and use a large metal spoon to scrape the fruit away from the peel. I put it directly into my food processor once it’s cooled.  Or a few hours later because I forgot about it cooling and started doing other things…

Wizz away! Your pumpkin might be so soft it only needs a few pluses, that’s how mine usually is. Now just put into airtight containers and freeze! I usually measure out what my favourite recipes use and freeze that quantity – that way I can just thaw what I need as I go. If you do choose to put your purée into the fridge, be sure and use it in 4 or 5 days max!

While I admit feeling envious of you folks living in countries where pumpkin purée can be found in cans, allowing for early spring and summer pumpkin cravings to be assuaged in a hurry, nothing beats making your own pumpkin purée at home.  It’s easy, inexpensive and allows you to really know what is in your purée.  My main problem is I never freeze enough to last me all year. Actually, it usually only lasts until the end of winter, but that’s ok. This technique works well for any winter squash so don’t limit yourself! Because pumpkins are more rare in my neck of the woods, I often sub various squash for pumpkin and it always works just dandy!

Get ready for some pumpkin recipes!