Pumpkin dishes

The Great Pumpkin Crisis of 2009 -- when a lousy harvest resulted in panic-buying and hoarding -- has us looking at pumpkin in a new way. (Photo by Bob Fila)

Courtesy of Donna Crivello of Donna's

Blondie's cranberry pecan pumpkin bread

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup canned pure pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 91/4 x51/4 x3-inch loaf pan. Line bottom and two long sides with waxed paper. Whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt and baking soda in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in pumpkin, then vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in two additions each. Fold in cranberries and nuts. Transfer batter to pan. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 10 minutes. Cool bread in pan on rack 15 minutes. Cut around bread at short ends to loosen from pan. Turn bread out onto rack; peel off waxed paper. Cool bread completely. (Can be made two days ahead. Wrap and store at room temperature.) A great French toast or bread pudding can be made with any leftovers.

Serve a side of maple cream cheese. Just take grade B Maple syrup and softened cream cheese and mix together to taste. Choose grade B because of the more intense maple flavor; your typical pancake syrup has too much sugar.

Courtesy of Cindy Selby of Blondie's Baking Company