Saturday, November 26, 2011

A little burnt out on pumpkin pie...

We already had one massive Thanksgiving meal, and tomorrow my dad is coming up from the city for our second go-round.  The problem is, I've already had my fill of pumpkin pie.  That, and I don't' have any evaporated milk and I really don't feel like changing out of my pajamas and house shoes to go get some. Just being honest...

Instead, I consulted my pantry to see what I did have, and decided to make this:

Pumpkin cranberry bundt cake with candied walnuts and caramel drizzle.  It was a lot more complicated than pumpkin pie but the rewards are neverending.  My dad will love me.


Pumpkin Cranberry Bundt Cake (adapted from here)

Note-- this can also be made as muffins or in a loaf pan as a quickbread.  It's amazing either way.


3 cups flour
5 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp ground clove
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup or more dried cranberries

1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.  In a small bowl. mix together the 1/2 tsp sugar and cinnamon.  Grease a bundt pan coat with sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Mix flour, spices, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and orange juice.  Mix into wet mixture just until blended, then stir in cranberries.  Pour into bundt and bake for 1 hour or until knife inserted in the center of one side comes out clean.  Cool 1 hour in refrigerator before turning out.

Caramel Drizzle (adapted from here)


1 cup butter
2 1/3 cups brown sugar
Dash of salt
1 cup white corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter over medium heat.  Add brown sugar and salt, mix until well combined.  Add corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk and boil until just past the soft ball stage, about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  This makes more than enough for a drizzle so feel free to remove about a cup and a half into a glass bowl for drizzling and then continue to cook to hard ball stage and pour out onto parchment lined baking sheet to cut into caramels later. Or, as I did, dip an apple into it and let that harden as well.  We make good use of our caramel around here.

Candied walnuts (adapted from here)

1 pound walnut halves
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Roast walnuts 8-10 minutes in 350 degree oven.  Remove to cool. Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, clove, and milk in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, to boil until soft ball stage, about 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Stir in walnuts until well coated and pour out immediately onto parchment covered baking sheet and separate with a fork quickly.  These set fast.  Great for holiday gift giving on their own, as well.

To assemble, just slice a piece of cake, toss a few candied walnuts on top, and drizzle with warm caramel.  Feel free to heat the caramel up in the microwave for a few seconds to soften up if it sets too quickly.

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