I love gingerbread! My grandmother used to make hers with blackstrap molasses, lard, and boiling water; I remember its deep dark taste.
This version is simpler, and uses butter instead of lard, but it still tastes absolutely fabulous. It’s lightened with pumpkin puree and spiked with both raisins and crystallized ginger.
Pumpkin Gingerbread makes 2 loaves
- 3 c flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves (optional)
- 2 c thick pumpkin puree (you can use one 15-oz can)
- 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 c dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 c molasses
- 1 c plump raisins
- 2-3 Tbsp finely minced crystallized ginger
- 4 eggs
- 6 Tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Thoroughly grease two 9x5x3 loaf pans.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and if using, cloves. Set aside.
In a large (4-qt) mixing bowl, mix together the pumpkin, melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, raisins, crystallized ginger, eggs, and water. You may want to use your whisk, and really beat it so it’s well combined. Then switch to a wooden spoon or spatula, and gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring only until no streaks of flour remain.
Divide the batter between the two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350˚ 50-60 minutes, until a skewer poked into the center of a loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven; let cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes, then carefully remove the loaves from the pans and let them cool on a rack.
The flavor will improve with time. If you cut into the loaves while they are still warm, they may crumble – I prefer to wait until the next morning, and cut big (but neat) slices for breakfast with my tea.