Sunday, October 18, 2009

In Praise of Pumpkin, Part 1: Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake Roll

When the air gets crisper and I start seeing orange everywhere, I get a hankering for that yummy pumpkin taste that I only indulge in during the fall months. I'm not sure why that is, really. I would eat pumpkin in July, I just never think of it because I'm too busy having a barbeque and eating corn on the cob. I love that when the seasons change, my menu changes too. So this week when my kids and I pulled some ripe pumpkins out of my garden I came up with the idea to write a week-long series on gluten free pumpkin recipes. That and the fact that sometimes you can only buy the huge can of pumpkin and most recipes only call for 2/3 of a cup of pumpkin or so. Good homemakers everywhere are smiling that I used up all my pumpkin and didn't waste any of it. Not to mention that pumpkin is chock full of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, including iron, potassium, and magnesium, so who could resist getting some more good stuff in their diet?

I love to read through neighborhood cookbooks. You know, the ones that the whole neighborhood contributes recipes to and you usually buy for a fundraiser. Or, a good family cookbook is also a treasure trove of "real" cooking. I love the ones where people are like, dump two cans of soup and one pound of hamburger and voila! Dinner! But a few of those recipes are tried and true, and you can tell that the cook who submitted them has really made these recipes a hundred times and gotten compliments every single time they make it. Like the Pumpkin Cake Roll recipe from Mavis Hill, whom I assume is quite the cook, who contributed to the cookbook in the neighborhood my husband grew up in. The only ingredient I needed to substitute was the flour, so I thought I'd give it a go. I'm going to give you the whole recipe and THEN the play by play, because it turned out to be an exercise in creativity when all was said and done. So, down to business:
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake Roll
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup Grandpa's Kitchen baking flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat eggs on high speed of mixer for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar. Stir in pumpkin and lemon juice. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Fold into pumpkin mixture. (I didn't sift.) Pour into well greased and floured 15x10x1" baking pan. (I used a baking sheet that was just a little bigger than that. I think it's called a jelly roll pan.) Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until done. Let cake cool 5 minutes and turn out onto a dish towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Starting at narrow end, roll towel and cake together and cool. Prepare filling.

Filling:
1 cup powdered sugar
6 ounces of softened cream cheese
4 T soft butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients together and beat until smooth.

Unroll cake and spread with filling. rollup again and wrap in plastic wrap and then in foil. Freeze until ready to serve. Serves 10-12.

Okay, so see that part where it says, greased and floured? I think I missed the floured part because here is what happened to my pumpkin cake when I turned it out:
As Napoleon Dynamite would say, "Dangit!" So, thinking quickly on my feet, I did this: And then I made a junior sized cake roll. When you roll up the cake and filling together, the gluten free cake will want to crack. And it may not look so pretty on one end. Trust me, there is a way to fix this. Roll it up carefully in your plastic wrap and foil and then freeze it for at least an hour. When you pull it out, trim the ragged edge clean with a bread knife. As it freezes it kind of holds it's shape a little better and looks just fine when cut.

I still had a lot of cake and frosting left over from my turn-out disaster, so I thought I would use them up anyway. Feeling very creative, I dove into my huge drawer of cookie cutters and found my pumpkin cookie cutter. I simply made sandwiches with the cake and frosting and then cut them out into these cute little pumpkins that were to die for. I almost like them better than the cake roll because a) you don't need a plate and fork to eat them and b) they are fresh, not frozen. But I would eat any one of these any time. They were so yummy that not only did they disappear but my neighbor and my children ate up all the scraps. That has to be a good sign, eh? Tune in tomorrow for more pumpkin love!

Happy eating!

1 comment:

  1. I've made a similar pumpkin roll using a recipe from the Libby's Pumpkin can. I use parchment paper to line my pan so it doesn't stick when I turn it out. This is one of my favorite pumpkin desserts.

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