A Thanksgiving Favorite: Pumpkin Roulade
With Thanksgiving only three days away, I have made my menu and now have the pleasure of going through the myriad of recipes handed down all the way from my great-grandmothers. The following Pumpkin Roulade is likely found all over the internet these days, but the recipe I offer came from my grandmother. It is one I make every other year (switching between pumpkin pie). It has a wonderful whipped cream cheese and walnut filling and the cake is sweet and full of the spices we equate with the season. Darned easy to make, as well.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar (or Splenda, if you need to cut carbs)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (I use Watkins)
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg (I use whole and grate over the bowl with a fine microplane)
½ tsp. ground ginger
3 large eggs, beaten well
1 cup pumpkin puree (Yes, I roast my own pie pumpkins for this and can the remainder)
FOR THE FILLING:
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
2 tbsp. butter (softened)
¼ cup sugar (or Splenda)
1 ½ tsp. vanilla (not extract, for heaven’s sake)
½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup powdered sugar (approximately)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F).
Line a sheet tray (mine is 13x18x1) with a light coating of cooking spray, then cover the entire bottom with parchment paper.
Mix all dry ingredients well in a large bowl (use a whisk)
Mix the pumpkin puree with the beaten eggs very well in a small bowl.
Add the pumpkin/egg mixture to the dry ingredients and blend well to incorporate all the dry ingredients.
Pour this cake batter into your prepared sheet pan and spread the surface evenly (I use an offset spatula). Bake until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean (approximately 15 minutes).
Just before the cake comes out of the oven, place a large, smooth cotton (flour sack, preferably) towel on your workspace/counter and sprinkle powdered sugar evenly on top of the towel. After removing the cake from the oven, allow it to cool for 5 minutes, then invert onto the powdered sugar-coated towel and remove the parchment paper from the bottom. Be sure to leave a 2-inch or so selvage of towel space to help with rolling.
Slowly begin to roll the cake in the towel and allow it to cool completely. This will probably take about 45 minutes to an hour. Once completely cool, the cake will retain its rolled shape and make your life much easier with the filling.
Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese, butter, ¼ cup sugar and vanilla with your mixer until light and fluffy. Fold in the finely chopped walnuts using a spatula. Chill this mixture until your cake has cooled.
Unroll the cake and spread with the cream cheese filling, then roll the cake right back up. Scrape away the extra filling that has oozed out the sides. Roll the cake fairly tightly in plastic wrap, then chill overnight in the refrigerator. I prefer it nice and cold for serving. It’s also easier to cut when chilled.