Pumpkin Bread and Plum Jam

I’ve been remaking several old favorite recipes lately. It’s such a pleasure to improve on what is already pleasing. This plum jam + pumpkin bread isn’t much out of the usual in my kitchen, but together it’s the new winning combination, hands down. I’ve been on a pumpkin kick since we harvested the garden patch and bought some on a hay ride nearby. Plus, you know how much I adore homemade spiced plum jam. I doctored this batch up a bit and made this tried and true pumpkin bread with coconut oil this time. Heaven help my sweet tooth. These are both considerably lower-sugar than their traditional counterparts, but tell that to my squats. I had to decrease the weight last week and huffed and puffed through all my strength routines. I have a feeling I have another sugar/grain free month coming up to clean the slate again. But wouldn’t this be the very best for Thanksgiving morning? Good thing I scaled up the recipe and canned 38 jelly jars and 12 pints to eat give away through the holidays. I think jam and bread make the best hostess gifts. I’m babbling. Try the bread. It’s divine, on its own or paired with the jam, which makes every single food better.

Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Epicurious, October 2011

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup fresh pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2/3 cup water

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a small bowl. Beat the butter, sugar, and coconut oil on high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated. Mixing on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and 2/3 cup water and mix until just combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely.

Spiced Plum Jam
Adapted from Food in Jars

Ingredients:
4 cups plums, pitted and cut in 1/8ths  (keep the peels on!)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
scant 1/4 tsp cloves
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 packet pectin

Instructions:
Combine chopped plums, sugar, and cinnamon. Let sit for at least an hour until the fruit has gotten quite syrup-y. Put the fruit in a medium-sized pot and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the jam thickens and passes the plate test. Ladle into sterilized jars. Put on lids and rings. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove from the hot water and let sit on the counter with the rings on for a day before testing the tops of the lids to make sure they all sealed, then storing on a shelf in your pantry.

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