This unusual appetizer is popular with all ages. The pumpkin toasts are almost like little cookies, topped with wonderfully spiced fruit. You could even serve these as a dessert with hot cider or cocoa.
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1-1/3 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup apple pie filling, chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup apple cider or juice
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda and cloves; add to the butter mixture just until blended.
- Transfer to three greased 5-3/4-in. x 3-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- Transfer loaves to a cutting board; cut into 1/2-in. slices. Place cut side down on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 5-10 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- For topping, in a small saucepan, combine the pie filling, raisins, cranberries, molasses and spices. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Combine cornstarch and apple cider until smooth; stir into apple mixture. Return to a boil; cook for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool. Serve with toast. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Pumpkin Bread with Fruit Topping in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2009, p44
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