Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Roll
Dorcas Annette Walker

A decorative dessert to set off your Thanksgiving holiday is the Pumpkin Roll. The first time I saw a picture of a Pumpkin Roll I was intrigued yet hesitant to try such a sophisticated dessert. It wasn’t until years later that I took the plunge and made one. My recipe for a Pumpkin Roll sat hidden for years among other recipes until my daughter, Dawn, asked me for it after she was married. Once again I discovered the recipe and tried to remember how I had made it- as I usually end up changing something. Dawn’s Pumpkin Roll turned out great and she began making more for different church functions surprised at how easy a Pumpkin Roll is to make. A Pumpkin Roll is a rarity so you can be sure that any you make will be an instant hit. Not only is a Pumpkin Roll an attractive focal point, but this dessert with a blend of spices is delicious too.

Cloves are native to the Molucaa Islands, which is now part of Indonesia. The native tradition was to plant a clove tree upon the birth of a child. This spice was one of the first to be traded dating as far back as 1721 BC. Not only did the Romans prize this commodity but the Chinese were said to have used cloves as far back as 226 BC. In order to have an audience with the Emperor, one had to chew a few flowerettes to sweeten the breath. Arab traders introduced cloves to Europe in the 4th century. By the 16th century Portugal controlled the trade in cloves and other spices. In the 17th century the Dutch took over and kept the price of cloves high by burning down clove trees causing bloody uprisings with the native islanders. In the 1800’s the British opened the trade in cloves by planting clove trees in Zanzibar, which is now the largest exporter of cloves in the world. The clove tree is an evergreen having large oval leaves and clusters of crimson flowers. These flower clusters are first pale, gradually turn green, and then develop to bright red when they are harvested before the flower buds open and dried. Cloves are used in Eastern cultures for medicinal properties for toothaches, digestive problems, headaches, earaches, cough, and muscle spasms. The oil is used for styes, ulcers, and skin sores. Cloves can be used whole or in a ground form but are extremely strong, pungent, and sweet so are used sparingly. Mexican and Indian cuisine uses cloves. The north Indian cuisine uses cloves in almost every sauce or side dish and it is also a key ingredient in tea. South India uses cloves to flavor rice. Ground cloves add spicy depth to gingerbread, cookies, applesauce, muffins, cakes, and other sweets and are often the secret ingredient in barbecue and cocktail sauces.

This recipe makes one Pumpkin Roll and will serve twelve. Total preparation time is about two-and-one-half-hours from start to finish. Although a Pumpkin Roll takes longer to make the steps are simple and uncomplicated. The Pumpkin Roll is a festive holiday dessert and one that will bring raves with the blend of a thin, mild, pumpkin spice cake exterior wrapped around a creamy cheese filling.

Pumpkin Roll

Beat together until smooth:
1 c sugar
3 eggs
1 c canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c self-rising flour
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp allspice
Pour onto a greased wax paper covering a 10 x 15 inch baking tray with an edge. Bake at 350ยบ for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a clean towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Gently peel off the wax paper and then roll up the cake in the towel. Cool for one hour.

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 c powdered sugar
½ stick of butter softened
1 tsp vanilla
Beat until smooth. Unroll the pumpkin cake and spread evenly with filling. Roll up again, cover, and refrigerate for one hour before slicing and serving. Garnish with powdered sugar!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: dorcaswalker@yahoo.com. For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com or htpp://dorcasannettewalker.blogspot.com for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say I love the recipes and wanted to do the pumkin roll forever.
I use to live in Tennessee and loved it and also have relatives in Jamestown on my Mother's side by the name of Oakes. We visited them once when I was small and I remember the road was out and we had to detour through the creek and got a flat tire. Many years ago. Thanks for the info.

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

I hope your Pumpkin Roll turns out great. Enjoy!