Pumpkin pie with a molasses twist

Here is a traditional American Thanksgiving recipe but also a beautiful symbol of autumn in general. When I think of “pumpkin pie,” I think of the warm fall’s colors and the sweet aroma of spices from my kitchen.

tarte citrouille

Our pumpkin pie with a molasses twist

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Pumpkin pie with a molasses twist

tarte citrouille
  • Author: Marie-Pierre Lessard
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) or squash
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup evaporated milk

Premade pie crust or pastry for a single crust pie.

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients and beat together with a whisk. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan.
  2. Bake at 425°F for about 20 minutes, then at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or cold garnished with whipped cream.

Spicy pumpkin bread with molasses recipe

 Spicy pumpkin bread with molasses

 

There are few things I love more than when someone shares a recipe that has been in their family for years. It’s like being welcomed into their kitchen and handed a cup of tea. The gesture sits you right down at their kitchen table.

I am forever sharing my family’s recipes so I am pleased to offer a family favourite from another’s home.

Spicy pumpkin bread with molasses

This is Liz’s spicy pumpkin bread…

“I’ve been making this for years and years for my family, and we all really like it.” Liz told me in an email. “It’s much like a gingerbread in consistency, but I find it is moister than most gingerbreads.  The original recipe called for light or golden corn syrup, but I have always used Grandma Molasses molasses instead.”

I don’t know if it’s the spice blend, or the texture (or both) that makes this bread so comforting.

May be it’s the fact that the recipe has roots, like an old piece of furniture it connects the past with the present and has a story to tell.

Spicy pumpkin bread with molasses

Below is the recipe as Liz shared it with me.

When I made it I substituted ½ cup of the flour for whole wheat pastry flour, omitted the raisins and substituted pumpkin seeds for the walnuts. I also made three little loaves so adjusted the cooking time accordingly.

 

Liz’s spicy pumpkin bread with molasses recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (be sure to use pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.  Oil and line the bottom (and sides if you wish) of a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with parchment paper.  (Or prepare three small loaf pans).
  2. Sift together the first 8 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until light.
  4. Add the sugar, molasses, oil and pumpkin and beat until thoroughly combined.
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the liquid ingredients all at once and stir gently until combined.
  6. Fold in the raisins and nuts.
  7. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for about 80 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.  Then remove from the pan, peel off the parchment, and cool completely on a wire cake rack.

Note:  Wrap closely to store.  This loaf (like most others) will slice more easily if it has been stored for at least 8 hours.   For those who prefer to bake in bulk, I have doubled and tripled this recipe without encountering any problems.

Try our pumpkin loaf with molasses and ginger:

Pumpkin spice bread with molasses and ginger

Pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts and molasses

 Pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts and molasses

My kids have Halloween all mapped out. Literally.

They have drawn a map of the route they want to take to ensure they are making the most efficient use of their time and effort. And they have started to lobby for their choice of candy they’d like us to give out this year…already planning for leftovers.

We did our elaborate pumpkin carving last weekend, as part of our family’s Thanksgiving tradition, which means that a very simply carved pumpkin will suffice on Halloween night.

Carved pumpkins

All that’s left to plan are the costumes.

When I was little we had a big tickle trunk full of old dress up clothes to choose from. On Halloween day we’d rummage through it to assemble a costume and away we’d go.

One year I wore the hoop skirt from my mom’s wedding dress and tripped over the front hem the whole evening. Another time my costume included my grandfather’s tall leather Frontiersman boots, which were about five sizes too big. There was the year my dad helped me craft a cardboard box into a present with holes for my arms and a big bow on my head. The year I was a flower (I sewed big petals onto a bonnet) it snowed.

Pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts and molasses

There is nothing like Halloween memories to keep me cooking with pumpkin.

This latest recipe is a delicious adaptation of pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts from Daily Garnish.

They’re beautifully spiced and have a luscious texture thanks to the pumpkin puree. Lots of chopped walnuts and some candied ginger give them more of a grown-up taste and make them more interesting than your run-of-the-mill pumpkin muffin.

Pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts and molasses

Pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts and molasses

Adapted from Daily Garnish

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger, minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients (including brown sugar).
  3. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs with the pumpkin mixture then add the oil, molasses and vanilla.
  4. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until almost combined.
  5. Toss in the walnuts and ginger (reserving about 1 Tbs. of the ginger and 3 Tbsp. of the walnuts to sprinkle over top of the muffins before baking.)
  6. Gently fold the walnuts and ginger into the batter.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and bake for about 30 minutes (until a tester comes out clean).

If you enjoy baking with pumpkin try our Pumpkin spice loaf recipe:

Pumpkin spice bread with molasses and ginger

 

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

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Pumpkin spice bread with molasses and ginger

 Pumpkin spice bread with ginger and molasses

 

My mom would sometimes put cloves, ginger and cinnamon in a little pot of water on the stove and simmer it all afternoon, sending the smell of gingerbread throughout the house.

It was often a way to get rid of other cooking smells but there is something about those smells that makes a cool house feel warmer.

It’s a good trick when you don’t have time to bake cookies or bread.

 

Pumpkin spice bread with ginger and molasses

But when you do have something spicy and sweet in the oven, or cooling on the counter, the house can feel so inviting and cozy.

That’s how I felt when this pumpkin spice bread with molasses was in the oven.

It’s a wholesome treat, makes a big loaf and is great for snacking. (I love it with homemade blueberry jelly.)

Pumpkin spice bread with ginger and molasses

Pumpkin spice bread with molasses and ginger

Adapted from Food52

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Topping:

  • 1 tsp. turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan or line it with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, pumpkin, brown sugar, butter, oil, molasses, and buttermilk. Add the fresh ginger (if using) and vanilla.
  5. Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the wet ingredients.
  6. Stir gently until just combined.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  8. In a small bowl, mix the turbinado sugar with the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the batter.
  9. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you’re craving a house that smells of cinnamon and ginger try our delicious apple gingerbread.

Apple gingerbread

 

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top left hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

Here’s to eating well, everyday,

Bridget signature

Pumpkin creme brulee for Thanksgiving dessert

Pumpkin creme brulee

 

If you ask my daughter what her favourite holidays are Thanksgiving ranks pretty close to the top of the list.

For more than 15 years now we have celebrated Thanksgiving up at our camp with my whole family. We’re usually missing a brother or two and at least one niece or nephew, but even at that we’re a crowd of two dozen packed into the camp, spilling out onto the deck and down onto the beach.

We go for hikes in the woods, collect bouquets of leaves and fall wildflowers, hang out on the beach around a bon fire and occasionally go for one final dip.

The meal is potluck style so nobody has too much prep to do and we have a giant pumpkin carving party.

My children and all of my nieces and nephews spend the afternoon carving pumpkins and when it’s dark we cluster the pumpkins together to ooh and ah.

pumpkin creme brulee

 

That’s why my daughter loves Thanksgiving so much. She gets to hang out with all of her older cousins carving pumpkins for a whole afternoon.

 

Whatever you love best about fall and Thanksgiving there is a chance that pumpkin is somehow involved. And where there is pumpkin there are gingerbread spices. Add a touch of molasses and you have another delicious fall dessert.

 

 Pumpkin creme brulee

 

Have you ever made crème brulee? Chef Nancy Fox of Shadow Lawn Inn in Rothesay New Brunswick created this pumpkin creme brulee recipe for us, using molasses as the sweetener, instead of white sugar.

 

Crème brulee may sound difficult but it’s deceptively simple and takes only 10 minutes to put together. It’s also easy to make ahead so all you have left to do when it’s time for dessert is caramelize the tops under the broiler.

 

Pumpkin creme brulee

Makes 4 servings

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
  • ½ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 6 egg yolks

*Substitute ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg and 1/8 tsp ground cloves.

  •  6 Tbsp demerara sugar (natural brown sugar) for caramelizing the top

Directions:

  1. Heat cream, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice on the stove. Whisk molasses and egg yolks together, and add the heated cream to the egg molasses mixture.
  2. Pour into 4 oz ramekins.
  3. Place ramekins in a large pan and pour hot water half way up the ramekins and bake in a 300°F oven for 45 minutes.(The crème brulee should be solid but still jiggly like a belly.)
  4. Cool for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. To Serve, sprinkle 1 Tbsp of demerara sugar on each brulee, ensure that the entire top is covered. Melt the sugar under the broiler, keeping a very close eye on the brulees, or use a kitchen torch.

Can’t get enough pumpkin? Have you tried our Gingerbread pumpkin bars?

Gingerbread pumpkin bars