Monday, November 27, 2006

At Thanksgiving this year, you probably saw the usual suspects as far as pie is concerned: pumpkin, pecan, apple, maybe some sweet potato? I love those pies and the flavors in them always remind of me of the holiday season and being with family. But the thing is? I am a terrible pie baker. I never met a crust recipe I couldn't render inedible. Therefore I was intrigued when I heard Dorie Greenspan's recipe for an All In One Holiday Bundt Cake. This one bowl cake combines all the delicious tastes of the holiday pies we all love, without as much of the muss and fuss.

(photo from

Makes 12 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 large apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
1 cup cranberries, halved or coarsely chopped
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9- to 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan. (If you've got a silicone Bundt pan, there's no need to butter it.) Don't place the pan on a baking sheet -- you want the oven's heat to circulate freely through the Bundt's inner tube.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and ground ginger, if you're using it (not the grated ginger).

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars together at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the pumpkin, chopped apple and grated ginger, if you're using it -- don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Still on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. With a rubber spatula, stir in the cranberries and pecans. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool to room temperature on the rack.

Just before bringing the cake to the table, dust it with confectioners' sugar.

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