Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf

Where has the time gone? I can't believe it was August when I posted here last. It's been a crazy busy fall, the main change being my new job. I've left to run, the website for national lifestyle program CityLine, on Citytv. One of the main benefits? I get to write about, among other topics, food! I've had the pleasure to meet some great chefs, including our regular experts Jason Parsons, Massimo Capra and Michael Bonacini.

Earlier this week I interviewed Vancouver chef, and host of The Main, Anthony Sedlak -- wonderful guy, and incredibly talented. Next week I'm looking forward to speaking with food writer/cookbook author Lucy Waverman, and Anna Olson, cook-baker extraordinaire and host of the Food Network Canada series Fresh. All very exciting, as I own cookbooks by many of these folks and getting the opportunity to chat about food and cooking with them is hugely rewarding.

In honour of next week's interview with the lovely Ms. Olson, I want to encourage everyone to try this delicious pumpkin cranberry loaf from her 2004 cookbook Sugar. I love the interplay of sweet pumpkin and tart cranberry, and this loaf stays incredibly moist for days.

Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf
Makes 1 9x5-inch (2L) loaf

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 325F.

Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder, salt and spices and set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and stir in pumpkin puree, orange zest and vanilla. Stir in orange juice.

Add dry ingredients in two additions and blend just until incorporated. Fold in cranberries.

Spoon batter into greased loaf pan and bake in centre of oven for 60-75 minutes until a tester inserted into the loaf comes out clean.

Allow to cool before slicing.

Courtesy Anna Olson, Sugar, Whitecap Books, 2004

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