Elizabeth's Pumpkin Bread

Saturday 25 November 2017

One of the nicest gifts I ever was given for Christmas was a small notebook filled with my MIL's favourite recipes, her tried and trues and family favourites. Written by hand it represented a real labour of love to me, and it is something which I still use and cherish, some 40 years later. 

As you can see it has been very much loved, its pages spattered and falling apart, the writing fading now . . . I keep saying I need to re-do it into a new notebook, but my nostalgic self never wants to part with this small treasure . . . to me it is a treasure.  I love and loved my ex MIL.  We got along so well and were very similar in personality and had many of the same likes and dislikes.  I think the saddest thing about divorce is that you generally end up losing relationships not just with your spouse, but with all of the people who were a part of your family for so very long.  You just can't stop loving people because they belong to someone who is no longer a part of you life, but people just don't want to divide their loyalities I guess . . .  I still miss her.

The  recipe for this really moist and delicious pumpkin loaf/bread comes from that notebook. As it is written it is very basic . . . I have added my own twists to it through the years and made it my own, but at its roots it is still very much Elizabeth's Pumpkin Bread . . .

I added the pumpkin pie spice (see my right hand column for how to make your own) and the vanilla . . . and I think they made what was already a very moist and delicious loaf, into an even tastier loaf!

Tinned pumpkin was not something that was readily available over here in the UK when I first moved over here, but it has become a bit more common nowadays, although it is still not there for the finding a lot of the time.  It languishes in the North American Section of most grocery stores at a premium cost, although occasionally you can find it in other places. 

A few years back I scored a huge find of it in Aldi of all places.  I think I bought about 10 tins.  I am sure the cashier thought me quite mad, but what can I say about that?  I am a bit mad, mad for pumpkin!  And what you can do with it, like pies and cookies and most especially this fabulous quick bread!

Deliciously simple to make and fabulously tasty, this goes down well about this time of year enjoyed thinly sliced with a nice hot cuppa of whatever you fancy.  I enjoy it with a cup of hot redbush tea or mug of ginger and lemon . . . clearly however, it is mighty fine eating no matter what you choose to enjoy it with!

*Elizabeth's Pumpkin Bread*
makes 1 medium loaf

This is my ex MIL's recipe.  Its moist and delicious.  I have added a few things through the years, but basically it is the same. 

210g plain flour (1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large free range eggs
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (see recipe in my right side column)
1 tsp vanilla extract
190g sugar (1 cup)
180ml vegetable oil (3/4 cup, I use sunflower or rapeseed)
140g tinned pumpkin (3/4 cup)
115g raisins (3/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 165*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.  Butter a medium loaf tin and line it with baking paper.  Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Toss in the raisins and jiggle them around to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil and tinned pumpkin to combine well. 

Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the wet just to combine.  Everything should be moist, but it is not necessary for them to be completely smooth.  Spoon into the prepared baking tin.

Bake for 1 1/4 hours until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes before lifting out onto a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.  Cut into slices to serve.  Store in an airtight container.

You don't have to use any raisins, but Elizabeth always did, and so do I.  This was another of the weaknesses we shared  . . .  our love of raisins and anything baked with raisins in it.  I do hope you will try it.  I think this is sure to become a favourite loaf in your life as well!  Bon Appetit!


  1. Love the book..I know how fond you were of her...it is sad how break ups affect so many relationships.

    1. That is the saddest part Monique. People feel divided loyalties and I get that, but I just think that after 22 years it is really ard to have a whole half of your family just disappear! xo

  2. I just used my last can of pumpkin. Gasp! Now I have to stock up again. Every time I go shopping I will buy a big can til I have at least 6 cans ahead. This time I wasn't paying attention to what I have. Lol.

    I've been putting in choc bits in my pumpkin bread lately. Yum!

    That is the hardest thing about break ups, missing the parents and the dog! I use to call his parents sometimes,they always made me laugh. I never went over there again, in case he stopped by. That made them sad, but they understood. Now their in heaven.
    He still talks to me sometimes in a store, but I have no interest at all.
    I do regret not going over his parents house to see them, when they were still alive.

    Big hugs!

    1. Whenever I see it Jan, I stock up! You can never have too much pumpkin! Relatives lost thru divorce are like casualties of War Jan, very sad! Xo


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