ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Autumn Breads~ Zucchini Pear and Pumpkin Apple~ Food Memories and You

Buon Giorno Everyone!

Life here has been slightly chaotic and blogging has had to take a bit of a back seat. Jobs around here have been quite scarce so this past weekend Mr B. and I decided to go with our backup plan- Pattie will expand her business and start offering some new services. 

Pattie is a bit nervous, but my children have a bad habit of requiring food several times a day, so here we go!

I have some strong encouragement from some VERY dear friends and a hard push from another.

Thanks Lynn! :)

I was actually undecided about today's blog post till I got a call last night from a former personal training client. Her life has been insane lately and she's suffering from the Mommy guilt as she's not able to spend as much time as she'd like at home. She told me that while driving home last night she noticed the changing leaves and a memory popped into her head of her mom meeting her after school with fresh baked pumpkin bread. So, could I bake her some for her kids to find?

But of course!

As it happens, one of our book club m,embers brought a delicious Pumpkin Apple bread to our meeting Monday night. She had gotten it at a local market, but of course I wanted to make my own. I did some searching and, lo and behold, I found just what I was looking for on one of my very favorite blogs EVER- One Perfect Bite

Mary had a recipe that actually originated here in Cary, NC, so how perfect is that?!

I tweaked it just a bit, adding ginger to both the batter and the topping~ Enjoy

Pumpkin Apple Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Gourmet Magazine
Rebecca's Bakery in Cary, North Carolina

For topping
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
For bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 (15-oz) can solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Granny smith apples (I used Fuji), peeled, cored, and chopped (2 cups)

1/4 cup finely slivered and chopped crystallized ginger

1) To make the topping: Blend together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and butter in a small bowl with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
2) To make the bread: Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F (See Note ***). Butter two 9 X 5 inch loaf pans. Set aside. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice into a medium bowl. Whisk together pumpkin oil, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl. Add flour mixture, stirring until well combined. Fold in apples and ginger. Divide batter between buttered loaf pans- about 4 cups each. Sprinkle half of topping evenly over each loaf. Bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of bread comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool loaves in pans on a rack for 45 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely, about 1 hour. Yield: two loaves.

Note***~ My loaf pans are dark- I set the oven to 325 degrees and baked for  60 minutes- perfect!

While I was at it, I decided to send along another loaf that my family loves. This time of year when everyone is trying to use up all those prolific zucchini is the perfect time for this bread. I usually add fresh, ripe pears, but today I decided to use one of my quarts of gingered pears from last year (well drained, of course)

Zucchini Date Pear Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped dates
2 ripe pears, chopped (or 1 quart of homemade canned pears, drained and chopped)
1 cup chopped walnuts- OPTIONAL
Turbinado Sugar for topping- OPTIONAL

Grease and flour  (or spray with Pam) two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees 
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Stir in chopped dates to coat pieces of dates with flour
Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini, pears, and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. Sprinkle top with sugar, if desired
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. This is a very moist bread- make sure it’s fully baked.  Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.
With a good smear of creamy mascarpone on a just warm slice, this is Fall comfort at it's best

Tutti a Tavola!

As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie


  1. Oh both breads look delicious! I'm copying them both out to make for now and freeze for later--must keep the winter "bears" happy.


  2. Pattie, I live in Cary and remember Rebecca's Bakery well!! It has been gone for at least 10 years. I wish it was still bakery moved in Blue Moon Bakery, good but not Rebecca's :( Thanks for reminding me of this great recipe, I remember when it ran it Gourmet, she was so excited!!

  3. That last photo is scrumptious!!!I envy your get up and go happily.

  4. You do have amazing energy, Pattie. It is a difficult time for many these days so I wish you well in your new endeavor! Both of these breads sound so delicious! I can't wait to try the Zucchini, Date and Pear bread!

  5. This is the perfect time of year for loaves of bread like those. What a treat!

  6. I love to make gingerbread and pumpkin quick breads this time of year ......ninety degrees today!Will try these soon.Hope you have many new appointments for your your many gifts and talents,and your clients will be amazed at your expertise.Take care~Emelia~

  7. Dear Patti,

    Thanks for visiting My Kitchen by the Lake. I too am a breast cancer survivor so here's to us! These quick breads are my favorite and a reminder that I must get cracking and make a couple to freeze for later on in the winter. Great with tea in the afternoon!

  8. How nice :-). This was a lovely way to start the day. I appreciate the link. I also love the changes you've made to the pumpkin bread. Have a wonderful day, Pattie. Blessings...Mary

  9. Wonderful job with both these recipes. Best of luck with your business endeavors.

  10. I've never thought of using pumpkin and apple together. Looks delicious!

  11. Patti, pumpkin breads were one of my offerings when I did catering part time. I did tons of them around Cmas time all wrapped prettily for people to give as gifts. The holidays are coming, you might look into this avenue, pate, cheese balls , breads etc. People go for it!
    I have a recipe I used to make 10 loaves at a time. March was Irish Soda and I remember making 70 loaves one night till the wee hours of the morning ! Then getting up for work!

    Good luck with everything!

  12. Oh, and I forgot to tell you we have been to Italy twice, once on a group trip before my son even met his future wife, and then we went a couple of years ago and stayed with her family and they had a big reception over there so the Italian side of the family could be part of the wedding that took place earlier in the year. This was in 2006.
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