This was one of the first conversations I had with Randy, my then boyfriend now husband, when I saw him make up a monstorrous bowl of cookies and ice cream for the first time. I had never seen such a huge serving.
The man loves his sweets like no one I know and it’s slightly comical that he married a woman who avoids desserts on most occasions. The apples don’t fall far from the tree– our children have inherited his love for sweet treats.With each fall season I find myself more in the kitchen baking goodies to feed my people, because of their love for sugary sweets. Their squeals (yes, even Randy’s) of anticipation and excitement fill my heart. With each successful bake, my level of baking confidence rises and I want to do it more.
When I develop desserts my children are more interested in it than when I work on savory meals. They want to be a part of the whole process, so I engage them in their interest through questions.
“Flour! Eggs!” Correct!
“Salt!” Right on.
“Chips!” Maybe not with this one.
“Apple slices.” Ooooooh I like that idea.We walk into the store, greet our friends and start to pick apples. It was if we were in an orchard– the apple selection at Market Street is abundant and bright. Shades of red fill the boxes in front of the produce section. Apples were the perfect addition to the pumpkin bread.When I bake, I like little paws assisting me. There is one rule when cooking with mommy though “if you don’t follow mommy’s instructions, you aren’t allowed to help.”
They take this very seriously. It keeps the chaos to a minimum, BUT don’t fool yourselves; it’s messy and it takes more time. Yet these factors don’t outweigh the benefit of having additional help with the pouring and stirring.When cooking together we’re all learning how to work together as a team, and brother and sister are learning how to interact with one another by:
taking turns “Eli, it’s Katherine’s turn to add the brown sugar, you added the flour.”
sharing “You both get to stir with this spoon.”
patience “There’s raw egg in the batter, we have to wait to taste it.”It also harbors an academic environment– math (measuring out ingredients), science (how different ingredients create particular results) and artistic expression (what would you put in the bread?).
“Mmmmm. Whatcha making?”
Browned Butter Pumpkin Apple Bread.
“How about you turn the leftovers into bread pudding?” Oooooooh, I like that idea too.
With some kind of sweet sauce on top? I know exactly what to add.
Pumpkin Apple Bread Pudding
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
6 cups Browned Butter Pumpkin Apple Bread (recipe below), cubed
Stonewall Kitchen Dulce de Leche sauce
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the milk, cream, cinnamon, salt, whole cloves, vanilla extract and sugar into a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stir occasionally. Do not let this mixture boil.
- Meanwhile, place the eggs and yolk into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Place the bread cubes into a 2.2 quart baking pan (for Browned Butter Pumpkin Apple Bread, see below).
- Once the milk mixture is heated, strain it into a bowl. Measure out 2 cups of this milk mixture.
- With the warm milk mixture, temper the yolk mixture. To temper the yolks, whisk the eggs quickly while slowly adding the warm liquid (about 1/4 cup at a time) until all the liquid is combined. (Congrats! You just made a custard.)
- Pour the custard over the cubed bread, make sure to evenly distribute the liquid. With your hands, gently press down the bread cubes to absorb the custard and work out air bubbles.
- Place the bread pudding into the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the custard is set.
- Drizzle the Dulce de Leche sauce over the bread pudding. Serve warm.
Browned Butter Pumpkin Apple Bread
Author note: If you’re running low on time, don’t brown the butter. Melt it in the microwave. The bread will not have the distinctive browned butter flavor, but the result is still delicious. The size of the dices are up to you. I prefer smaller apple bites. Nuts would also be a nice addition to this bread. However, we are a tree-nut free kitchen due to food allergies and I have not experimented with this addition.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, plus more for coating baking pan
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups apple, finely diced
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flour, cinnamon, kosher salt, all spice and baking soda into a bowl. Set aside.
- Coat the inside of a bread pan with unsalted butter. Set aside.
- In four small batches, brown the butter. To brown butter, use a large skillet, and heat the butter over medium heat. Cook until the butter is golden brown. Pour the browned butter into a small bowl and continue this process until the 1 1/2 sticks of butter are browned. Let the butter cool slightly.
- With a mixer, cream the pureed pumpkin and sugar for 4 minutes.
- With the mixer still running, add the butter, vanilla and eggs to the pumpkin mixture.
- In small batches, add the dry ingredients. Continue to mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Turn off the mixture and add the apples. Stir well.
- Pour the batter into the buttered bread pan. Place in the oven and cook for 75-85 minutes (or until the bread is cooked all the way through). If the top of the bread begins to look too brown, place a piece of foil on top of it. I usually do this about 50 minutes into the baking process.
- Serve warm with butter.