After the last morsel of turkey is licked off the finger and final slice of pumpkin pie disappears, the Catheys make harvest loaf.
Thanks to my dearly departed friend Anne Ferlo, Harvest Loaf has been part of my life for the past two decades. Anne was “Nonny” to my children, Luke and Kate, and it is they who insist this recipe come to life at the dawn of the holiday season.
Luke and Kate are picky, so they do away with the nuts and spices that really make Harvest Loaf sing, focusing on the chocolate chips and the glaze. Anne and I got along famously, partly because when she cooked for me there were no substitutions and no omissions.
The ginger makes this bread spicy on the lips, the chocolate chips make it irresistible.
Nonny is very much missed and celebrated in our hearts throughout the year, but none more than during the holidays.
Writing this up reminds me it's about time to take her widower, Guido Ferlo, to dinner. (Rococo or Vito's?).
Anyway, while we're dining with the Guidmeister, please do yourself and your family a favor while helping us celebrate Anne's memory with a Harvest Loaf of two ... or three.
Some folks like it room temperature, the kiddos love it refrigerated. Make two and decide for yourself:
Nonny's Glazed Harvest Loaf
1¾ cups flour
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour with soda, salt and spices.
• In a large mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer at high speed and gradually add sugar to butter and cream until batter is light and fluffy. Blend in eggs until thoroughly beaten and combined.
• At low speed, add dry ingredients alternately with pumpkin. Begin and end with dry ingredients, blending well after each addition.
• Stir in chocolate chips and ¾ cup of walnuts.
• Grease a 9-by-5 loaf pan with butter, then pour in batter. Sprinkle top with remaining walnuts.
• Bake 65 to 75 minutes, until loaf springs back when touched lightly in the center.
• While loaf is baking, make glaze by combining all ingredients until well-incorporated. When loaf comes from the oven, remove from pan and drizzle with glaze.
• Let stand up to 6 hours.