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Canned Pumpkin Bread

Midnight snack: Canned Pumpkin Bread

This bread is baked in a canning jar, where, as long as the seal isn't broken, it will last forever. It was developed by Gerald Kuhn, retired professor of food science at Penn State. This is one recipe you don't want to modify, warns Kuhn, as its moisture content has been adjusted to make it perfectly safe for preserving in jars. You'll need eight 1-pint, wide-mouthed glass canning jars with 2-piece lids.

  • 2/3 cup shortening (we used butter-flavored Crisco)
  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (we used fresh)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup chopped nuts (optional; we used walnuts)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream shortening and sugar.

Beat in eggs, pumpkin and water.

Stir together the dry ingredients. Add to the pumpkin mixture, along with the nuts, if desired.

Pour the batter into clean, greased canning jars, filling them half full. Bake in jars without lids for about 25 minutes (we baked ours 10 minutes longer), or until the bread rises and pulls away from the sides of the jars.

When the bread is done, remove 1 jar at a time from the oven, clean its rim, and firmly screw on a 2-piece canning lid. Let the jars cool on the counter away from drafts. You can tell each jar has become vacuum-sealed when its dome is sucked downward at the center during cooling. Store jars in a cool, dry, dark place.

Makes 8 one-pint jars. (Ours all seemed to have sealed, so maybe we counted the Pops! incorrectly.) Each round loaf yields 3 or 4 slices.

"The Perfect Pumpkin" by Gail Damerow

Sunday, November 10, 2002

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