Recipe for Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Bread


    Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Bread

    "A dessert bread made from pumpkins - Every year in Half Moon Bay, California there is a Pumpkin Festival, at which prizes are given for the largest pumpkin in the world. Never mind that for the last two years the winner has been in Nova Scotia: the citizens of Half Moon Bay take pumpkins very seriously. At Christmas time in Half Moon Bay, people give each other little tins of this bread as presents."

    Yield: 3 loaves

    3 cups granulated sugar
    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon nutmeg
    4 large eggs
    1 cup vegetable oil
    2 cup cooked pumpkin
    2/3 cup water
    1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
    Cream cheese (optional - for serving)

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter containers well.

    Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the eggs, oil, pumpkin and water. Beat thoroughly. It's easier to get all the lumps out if you use an electric mixer. Stir in the walnuts with a wooden spoon.

    Pour the batter into containers, filling each only half to two-thirds full. Bake for 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the sizes of your containers. If you're using a very small container, start checking much sooner. The bread is done when a wooden pick in the middle comes out clean.

    Cool about ten minutes, then loosen the edges of the bread with a knife, and turn out of the pans to cool the rest of the way on a rack.

    For baking containers, use a loaf pan, metal soup cans or one-pound coffee cans, etc. If you use the coffee cans, this recipe will use three of them.

    Serve each slice spread with cream cheese, if desired.