1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup nut oil, such as walnut or almond or sunflower seed oil
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup coarsely chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs and oil until smooth, about 1 minute.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth and well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. The batter will be thick. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the dates and chopped nuts just until evenly distributed, no more than a few strokes. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until the top is browned and crusty and develops a long center crack, 60 to 70 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Unmold the loaf onto the rack and let cool completely. Serve at room temperature, cut into thick slices.
Makes 1 (9 x 5-inch) loaf.
Date: October 11, 2007