This morning, I found a lovely bag of large cranberries in the freezer, and looking through my books for inspiration, settled on making some cranberry chutney, with red onion, apple, and cider apple vinegar, with a mixture of festive spices. It will not need refrigeration, and will be nicely matured for Christmas.
I've also finally baked theTurk's turban pumpkin which has been adorning the conservatory for the last few weeks. It had got jolly hard, and I had to have a second pair of hands to break it open. I simply placed the quarters skin and all in the oven to bake, and when soft scooped out the flesh.
There are no pictures...a small piece of the cake was cut off to eat, and the rest went into the freezer! Its going to come in very handy in the next week or so! I am very busy using everything up. I know what needs to be used from the freezer, fridge, and store cupboard, and ideas just appear from somewhere.
As well as making the cake, today I made up buns with pumpkin flesh, strong flour, home candied peel, the remaining of the preserved ginger, aniseed, butter, milk, yeast, eggs etc.
I've been sorting out recipe books, magazines, my card index box and hand written recipe books which date back many years, when I came across a typewritten recipe for a pumpkin cake...and it was from this that I have developed the Pumpkin cake below. The original recipe which had margarine and walnuts, used the creaming method, and had a different blend of spices, and far too much sugar for my taste buds now. Joyce Hatwood had brought some of her pumpkin cake to a crafting session about six years ago and it was so delicious, I asked for the recipe. I've been on a mission to eat more pumpkin seeds as they are high in zinc, and yes that's another item which needs using up!
Mr S has also been on the use up path, and when I emptied the teapot in which he had been brewing his spicy chi...I knew that would make a lovely soaking liquor for the raisins...I've kept back some of the last teabags to use for soaking raisins in during the next few days.
Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Seeds
225g plain flour...I used white spelt flour
1tbsp baking powder
175g soft brown sugar
225g cooked pumpkin flesh
75g butter, I used goat's butter
150g Raisins soaked in strong hot chai tea...enough to hardly cover the raisins
50g chopped candied peel
A good handful pumpkin seeds
1/4 tsp ground mace
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs
You could sprinkle the top with some demerara sugar and more pumpkin seeds, but may need to cover part way through baking to prevent these scorching.
Sift all the dry goods, add the sugar, and rub in the butter.
Add the drained raisins and the orange, mix eggs into the pumpkin puree, then add this to the mixture, with the pumpkin seeds. Stir well, and add sufficient of the soaking liquid to give a softish texture.
Bake in a lined 2 lb loaf tin for 60 to 70 minutes in a preheated oven gas Mark 4. Test with a skewer. Cool in the tin for about 20 minutes, then turn out and cool on a rack. The cake is very tender, and it is best left till completely cool if you want neat slices.
One of the tips on the guides to making the removal process as smooth as possible is ensuring there is plenty of tea and biscuits...well there will be buns and cake!