November 20, 2018
This is about...
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        I LOVE MY PUMPKIN PIE. Alright it’s really not MY pumpkin pie. It comes from a can of Libby’s pumpkin pie mix, but it’s is an absolute must have for my Thanksgiving to be complete. SINCE IT’S PRETTY MUCH A NO-BRAINER, I try to look for one more pumpkin dessert to have on hand for the big turkey weekend. And THIS YEAR, IT’S A LUSCIOUS PUMPKIN COFFEECAKE with a crunchy brown sugar and toasted pecan streusel topping.
        Even though at first glance you may think that it would be a heavy cake, it’s surprisingly not. And, it has all the flavors of your traditional pumpkin pie, which makes it a real contender for your holiday table. That tasty layer of streusel that jazzes up the top of the cake, is also added as a surprise layer in the middle. And it’s ready for it’s close-up with a pretty drizzle of confectioners’glaze. Can it get any better than that?
        I KNOW THIS ISN’T AS EASY AS OPENING UP A CAN, BUT IT’S PRETTY SIMPLE. The streusel and the glaze are one bowl affairs, and the batter comes together with a mixer in no time. The hardest part, which really isn’t hard at all, is toasting the pecans, which gives the cake a big flavor boost. So please don’t leave that step out.
        My pumpkin pie will always hold a place of honor on my holiday table, but it can certainly slide over a little bit to make room for this yummy cake. Although I have been known to eat last night’s pie for breakfast, this cake is the perfect “day-after-Thanksgiving” breakfast treat. But don’t stop there, make it anytime, especially during the fall and winter months. So ---bring out that pumpkin pie—but make a little room for a newcomer too.

LESSONS Learned:
1. To toast the pecans: preheat an oven to 325°F. Spread the nuts out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 7-9 minutes. Watch them closely towards the end of the baking time—they can burn easily.
2. If you don’t have a 9 inch round springform pan.... you can use a 9” tube pan, a 10“ bundt pan, or make two 8”round cakes.
3. Make sure to get pure canned pumpkin puree and not canned pumpkin pie mix.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar-Pecan Streusel
(adapted from Kim Laidlaw)

For the streusel:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
a pinch of fine sea salt
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted (see below)

For the batter:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup full fat sour cream

For the glaze:
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons milk, whole or 2%, or more if needed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Make the Cake:
        Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan or any of the pans listed in Lessons Learned.

Make the streusel:
        In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and, using 2 table knives, a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut it into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a food processor. Stir in the toasted pecans. Set aside.

Make the batter:
        In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the pumpkin puree and sour cream and mix with the spatula. Stir in the flour mixture. The batter will be quite thick.
        Dollop half of the batter by spoonfuls into the bottom of the pan, and spread into a smooth layer. Evenly sprinkle half of the streusel over the batter. Dollop the remaining batter over the streusel and spread the thick batter as best you can. Top with the remaining streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, a few moist crumbs are ok., about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire cooling rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge and remove the sides from the pan. Slide the cake onto the rack to let cool completely.

Make the glaze:
        In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla. If it is too thick to drizzle, add extra milk by the ½ teaspoonfuls until thin enough. To get thin lines, using a spoon, first start the drizzle in the bowl of icing, then draw lines in all directions over the top of the cake. Repeat as many times as desired. Allow some of the glaze to drip down the sides.

Makes 8-10 servings.     YUM!

Toast the pecans:
        Preheat an oven to 325°F. Spread the nuts out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 7-9 minutes. Watch them closely towards the end of the baking time—they can burn easily. Immediately remove them from the hot pan, cool, and coarsely chop them.
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