Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away now and I finally got the menu planned out. I’m going to brine the turkey this year because it creates such a wonderful moist and juicy turkey, loaded with flavors. In Colorado anything that can add extra moisture to meat is a good thing because things dry out so easily.
I’m planning on starting the meal with butternut squash ravioli for appetizers and then moving into a spinach salad with goat cheese, cranberries and walnuts and a fresh citrus dressing. Yum, my mouth is just watering thinking about it. And of course we have to have the staples a fresh green bean casserole (no it’s not the recipe off the can and doesn’t use cream of mushroom soup but it does use French fried onions). A southern favorite, the sweet potato casserole topped with a pecan streusel, my mac-n-cheese, freshly made cranberry sauce and bread followed by pecan pie and I’m thinking a pumpkin crème brûlée but that is still not completely decided.
Oh the joys and fun of preparing all those wonderful goodies for friends and family. I’ll make sure to share pictures and some of the recipes with you (of course you already have my mac-n-cheese recipe, if not just click the link and you will).
For a morning like Thanksgiving, where I’m going to be cooking all day, I like to prepare something for nibbling on for breakfast the day ahead. It also makes it easier on me because my husband and any friends who stop by can wander through a get a bite when they want to without me having to stop. We all know that Thanksgiving food preparation has to go like a well-oiled machine to get everything to the table, hot and ready to eat at the same time.
with a few recipes for something new this year and seasonal and am considering Pumpkin Apple Bundt Cake with a Streusel topping (my topping cracked a little coming out of the pan, more oil next time to help it not stick). It uses pumpkin, apples, walnuts and a bunch of wonderful spices that just speak to the season and it’s easy to make. It also tastes better on the second day than the first and isn’t too sweet, more like a slightly sweetened coffee cake.
This cake is beautifully moist and just loaded with goodies. I use freshly baked pumpkin purée instead of the canned pumpkin but you can use either. I also used granny smith apples but the recipe will handled any apple of your choice that is crisp and holds up well to baking such as Honeycrsip (my favorite apple), Pink Lady (a close second favorite), Gala, or Winsap (for those living in areas that can get them). I’m not sure if this cake will be as good with Golden or Red Delicious because I think they’re too sweet and won’t hold up to the cooking as well, but if anyone tries them please let me know how it turned out.
So make sure you try this recipe to tantalize your taste buds with as you enjoy the flavors of life in your own kitchen. There really is nothing like being able to share homemade goodies with your family and friends throughout the holidays or anytime of the year.
Pumpkin Apple Bundt Cake with Streusel Topping
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (you can use all-purpose as well)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. allspice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups pumpkin purée
1/4 cup canola oil (veggie is okay as well)
1/3 cup of applesauce
1/3 cup of water (for higher elevations only, sea level doesn’t need this)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large apples, cored, peeled and chopped
½ cup walnuts, chopped small
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease bundt pan generously.
In a small bowl, mix all the Streusel ingredients until the mix resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly into the bottom of your bundt pan (if making muffins or in a regular cake pan, sprinkle on top of the cake).
In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Slowly add the pumpkin mix to the flour mix and stir until just moisten. Fold in the apples. Pour the cake mix on the Streusel topping in the bundt pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted near the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes (this does change depending on your location and the heat of your oven, so watch the cake until you’ve made it a couple of times and know your timing). Allow cake to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning on to a plate or wire rack to cook completely. Don’t cut the cake for at least an hour after baking because it compacts the inside, making it dense.
You can serve immediately but this cake is best if cooled overnight, allowing the flavors to meld together. The next morning the pumpkin, apples and spices come through so well complimenting each other. You can also substitute pecans for the walnuts if you like.