Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pumpkin pie loaf cake with cardamom spiced apple





When I was 12, we had an American family join us for Christmas. The father had just started working with my Dad, and had moved to Perth late in the year with his wife and two young sons. Being new to Australia and away from family, my parents thought it would be nice to invite them to join us.

I don't remember much about the day, but I do remember that the American family contributed a pumpkin pie. It was the first - and to this day is the only - pumpkin pie I have had. I had no idea pumpkin could be made to taste so good, and I fell in love with the pie as utterly and completely as one can fall in love with any edible product (which is to say, quite a lot). The pie base doesn't feature in my memories, but the pie filling...oh yes. Soft yet firm, brown sugar and maple syrup sweet, and delicately spiced. At 12, the spice mix was foreign to me. Now, I suspect that it involved nutmet and cloves or cardamom. It certainly involved a lot of wonderful things.

I ate the pie and felt like I was transported to America. For a 12-year-old Australian with English family ties, it was a novel experience. The fact I can recall it so clearly now highlights just how novel, and memorable!


I haven't had a pumpkin pie experience since, but this loaf cake conjured up the memories. The filling is exactly like that of a pie - soft and fudgy, yet firm enough to hold together. The flavour seems exactly like that of my 12-year-old pie memories. The apple? That is my own contribution, but I will submit that it made this exactly right.

Over 17 years have passed since that Christmas I first had pumpkin pie. I don't think I'll wait 17 years before I make this cake again.


Pumpkin pie loaf cake with cardamom spiced apple
Heaven in a cake.
Vegan and low fat.
Makes 1 loaf cake or approximately 8 - 10 serves.


Ingredients
2 tsp chia seeds in 1/2 cup water
1 small butternut pumpkin, or 1 cup cooked and mashed pumpkin
2 cooking apples
1 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 cup apple sauce (mine was sweetened)

Method
Preheat your oven to 180'C and prepare a loaf tin. Combine the chia seeds with water and set aside.

If cooking pumpkin from scratch, peel and chop your pumpkin and then steam pumpkin pieces for 15-20 minutes or until soft.

Roughly chop one of the apples and steam or boil for roughly 10 minutes (I added my pieces to the pumpkin steamer half-way through).

Finely slice the remaining apple and set aside.

When the pumpkin and apple have cooked, mash together roughly.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and spices. Mix to combine. Add the apple sauce and chia-water mix. Add the mashed pumpkin-apple mix and mix well.

Transfer the batter to your loaf tin and then arrange the remaining apple slices on top.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.


This might be my new favourite baking recipe...for now at least.


Do you enjoy pumpkin desserts? And tell me - what is one strong food memory of yours? I have so many, I think it's for the best I now have a blog to reflect on them!

39 comments:

  1. G'day! HOW exciting does this recipe and photo look? TRUE!
    It is already on my Thanksgiving list re desserts! Thank you!
    Cheers! Joanne
    http://www.facebook.com./whatsonthelist

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    1. Glad you like the look of it Joanne!

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  2. I want this in every way. Except instead of apple, I want to swirl Biscoff across and through the top.

    x

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    1. Ooh Biscoff...I like how you think ;)

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    2. I'll take your Biscoff and keep my apple :-) The more deliciousness the merrier!

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  3. Wow! I would love to enjoy the same experiences having never had pumpkin pie before! Must replicate my own moment :)

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  4. I can say this a million times, but anything pumpkin rocks in my book. I live for the fall when I can eat pumpkin everything. Thanks for sharing! :-)

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    1. I won't wish fall on you again just yet but it must be nice having such an edible marker of love as the weather cools down :-)

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  5. I love pumpkin cake but I am not sure if I have tasted pumpkin pie - it always seems too creamy and eggy when I see it in recipes but I constantly think I will make one. Then I make a pumpkin cake because I realise that is what I really want. So pumpkin pie in a cake sounds excellent. I have been stewing apples tonight and that makes me feel very nostalgic not just for all the apple desserts my mum made but also watching her slice up apples so quickly

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    1. You've made me nostalgic for my Mum's apple charlotte dessert now :-)

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  6. That looks so friggin delicious : D thanks for sharing!! I wish we could get canned pumpkin here to even more quickly make recipes like this!

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    1. Then I think I'd make this constantly :D

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  7. preety damn good apple sweet bites.......
    i would love even more if you add pumpkin seed within the topping....hehehe

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  8. Thank you for sharing your one of many fond food memories. I remember when I first had a traditional Thanksgiving meal. I did not speak much English and remember feeling shocked when one of my classmate (who was also my neighbor) graciously invited me over. The spread was amazing and everything looked delicious, but I found myself wanting kimchi, dumplings, and savory pancakes (which shows up at any and every holidays in Korea). As for the dessert....they had both pumpkin and pecan pie. Wow....I was in love.


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    1. That must have been such an experience Min! I bet it was a real shock to the senses to have such a cultural shift - America is far more different from Korea than Australia is - but I'm glad you enjoyed the desserts as much as I enjoyed pumpkin pie on my discovery ;)

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  9. This cake sounds amazing! I adore pumpkin in baked goods - I have had pumpkin in my fridge for a pumpkin and prune cake I saw and have been too lazy to make it yet. I also love that it is low fat.

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    1. Pumpkin and prune also sounds good!

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  10. I remember when my mother came back from her first ever trip to the USA. She'd had home-baked pumpkin pile while there and loved it so in her suitcase she stashed a few cans of tinned pumpkin (something we couldn't buy back home). She made pumpkin pie for us and we all loved it - I'd never had a vegetable in a dessert before. I love the apples and the spices in your pie! xx

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    1. You must have been very pleased with your mother for bringing the tins back! I have seen a few very expensive American tines of canned pumpkin in the last few years but back then, I imagine they were nowhere to be found.

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  11. I tried my first Pumpkin Pie when I was in the USA last year for Thanksgiving. It wasn't what I expected and I actually really like it! With that in mind I'll certainly be giving this a try.

    Krissie Pearls of Style

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    1. Trying your first pumpkin pie actually in America and on Thanksgiving - that sounds like the way to do it!

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  12. I'm not usually a lover of pumpkin but I have never tried it in a cake or pie before. I do like the sound of the ingredients in your recipe especially the spices - I'm going to tuck this away for when I'm feeling adventurous!

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    1. I didn't think I was a lover of pumpkin until I started baking with it and adding cardamom :-)

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  13. I didn't realize pumpkin pie was really such an American thing! The flavors in it get me every time as well..all that cinnamon ginger cloves nutmeg goodness. I haven't had it in a while but this cake sounds kind of necessary at the moment!

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    1. Cinnamon ginger cloves nutmeg goodness sums up pumpkin pie perfectly :-)

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  14. It's sooo good having a blog to look back on with recipes. I love finding things that I had long since forgotten about, and reviving them again...including a pumpkin pie I think I made in the first year I started blogging. Same as you I had eaten it once before and had wonderful amazing food memories of it, so wanted to recreate it. Alas, I didn't, didn't even come close...but maybe should try again :-)

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    1. Definitely try again! And then share it again to remind us too :-)

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  15. I have never had pumpkin in a dessert!! I always mean to make something sweet with the vegetable but it never ends up happening :( I really do need to try this recipe as cardamon is also one of my favourite spices :)

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    1. You definitely have to rectify that!

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  16. oh this is the perfect combo of flavors!

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  17. Probably the most interesting pumpkin bread I've ever seen! Love all the flavors. It's so autumnal!

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    1. Thanks so much Ashley - and autumnal is exactly right. It sums up the flavours of that time of year exactly :-)

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  18. I LOVE cardamom, that stuff is amazing. And yeah, pumpkin pie is a big deal around here during the holidays, which is logical because it's completely delicious. Also I love how wholesome this recipe is!

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    1. Cardamom is my favourite spice for 2013 I think - it is definitely amazing!

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  19. My grandmother has been making me pumpkin pies ever since I was little and I absolutely adore them. Your pie loaf looks so moist and delicious - great recipe! I have so many strong food memories it's so hard to pick one haha. Food blogs are definitely useful for writing about them!

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  20. Yum sure sounds delicious :-)

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