I want to curl up on a slab of roasted sweet potato gingerbread and have a nap. This is what fall tastes like, if it sounds like leaves crunching underfoot and smells like gingerbread baking and feels like the sleepiness of early nightfall and the rush of Halloween and Christmas not so far away.
How was your Thanksgiving? I think this is the only photo I managed to take over the weekend – I grabbed my camera and held it up over everyone’s heads as they served themselves from the kitchen table. Turkey with bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted cinnamoned sweet potato chunks, maple squash, mashed carrots and turnips (my mother-in-law’s favourite), Brussels sprouts seared with bacon, that kale salad without Brussels sprouts but with a tart apple.
This was dinner #2 – the first was at my sister’s house and featured much of the same, plus green beans and an amazing mushroom tart that I promise I’ll track down and share. So fab.
I made two pumpkin pies, and ate none. I always use this recipe – but in the first pie used up the last of a bowl of whipped cream that had surpassed its peak, so to speak, in the fridge. It worked very well. (It was a little over 1 cup of whipped cream in place of the usual 3/4 cup liquid cream.)
I did eat the deep dish apple pot pie – a creation inspired by a walk that went late and cut into my baking time – I chunked a bunch of apples into the baking dish, tossed them with 1/2 cup brown sugar and a good shake of cinnamon and topped it with a piece of rolled-out puff pastry. I brushed it with a little egg, cut a couple steam holes and baked at 375F for about 45 minutes, until the apples were soft and the pastry was puffed and golden. It’s really a super lazy pie, but if you present it as Apple Pot Pie everyone gets all gushy over it. And the top crust is the best part anyway, right?
I roasted extra sweet potatoes with a gingerbread in mind – if you peel away their skins and puree them with egg, sugar, molasses and milk, then stir in some flour and spices and a bit of baking soda, you have this dense gingerbread. It would also work with cold roasted squash, or make good use of the second half of canned pumpkin in the fridge. Serve warm with cold milk.
Roasted Sweet Potato Gingerbread
1 1/2 cups roasted sweet potato or squash chunks or 1 cup pumpkin purée
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 large eggs
1/4-1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, allspice, and/or pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In the bowl of a food processor, puree the roasted sweet potato (or canned pumpkin), butter, brown sugar, molasses, eggs and milk – 1/2 cup if you’re using roasted sweet potato, 1/4 cup if you’re using canned pumpkin puree. Pulse until well blended and smooth. (Alternatively, if you’re using pumpkin puree you can mix it in a bowl by hand.)
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg/allspice/pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add to the food processor and pulse just a few times, just to incorporate wet and dry; alternatively, scrape it into a bowl and stir in the dry ingredients with a spatula. Scrape into a 9″x5″ loaf pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, and bake for 50-60 minutes, until risen and springy to the touch. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Makes 1 loaf.