A Few Suggestions For A Pressure Cooker Thanksgiving
I was thinking of doing a post gathering a few of my Thanksgiving appropriate recipes, but then I thought, “Thanksgiving isn’t for a couple weeks.” Then a wave of panic swept over me, as I thought “Thanksgiving is in a couple weeks!”
I know many of you are traditionalists and would consider nothing but Turkey for your feast. I, on the other hand rarely make turkey for Thanksgiving. Below I will offer some alternatives. Or, you could offer your guests a choice of Turkey or something else! Something perhaps prepared in the pressure cooker! I also have a couple dessert ideas.
Since I just posted this one recently, it is still fresh in my mind, so it comes first:
I know, I am really late with this post, and it is not because it was cutting into my trick or treat time. It turns out that making a cake, even in the pressure cooker, is harder than I thought. Much of the weekend was spent trying variations, trying to get the flavor and texture that I was looking for. My usual “close enough for jazz” method of eyeballing measurements doesn’t really cut it when baking (I will call it baking, for lack of a better word).
Once I finally got the recipe to where I wanted it to be, I started wrestling with the decision whether to actually post it or not. There’s nothing wrong with the cake. It is moist and tasty, everything you would want a cake to be, but the thing is you could make a cake in the oven in about the same amount of time, hence the reluctance to post.
In the end, I decided to post it anyway since even though it may not be a lot quicker than making it in the oven, the texture is different, maybe somewhere between a cake and a bread, than making it in the oven. Also, there may be circumstances where you don’t have an oven available for pumpkin cake, so this would be perfect. And besides that, I wasted the entire weekend determined to make a dang cake in the pressure cooker, so I’m going to post it, dagnabbit!
I haven’t posted a pumpkin recipe since my pumpkin custard around 3 years ago, and this being pumpkin season (duck season), pumpkin season (duck season), pumpkin season, FIRE!!! I though it was time to come up with something new incorporating pumpkin.
This started out as a vegan cake, but the results were somewhere between boat anchor and manhole cover. It was tasty, but just not what I was looking for texture-wise. And since I was planning to top it with whipped cream, making it vegan was not really my top priority.
I found that I achieved the best results with cooking oil rather than butter or coconut oil. I think that since both of those fats solidify when cool, it makes a denser texture. I used canola oil, something I am not exactly fond of using, but it made the cake turn out more like I had in mind. And if you have a scale, I recommend using it to measure the flour. The amount can vary wildly when using a measuring cup for flour.
I also tried with the pan covered with foil and uncovered. I liked the results from the covered pan better. You don’t need to try to form a super tight seal, just cover it fairly well. I use a non-perforated inset which has a handle, but you can use any cake pan that will fit in your pressure cooker, but you will probably need to make a sling out of foil to help remove the pan from the pressure cooker when it is finished.
Let’s start by preparing the pressure cooker and pan. I have only made this in my Instant Pot so far, so the time is for electric. My guess would be to subtract 5 minutes from the time for the stove top models.
Pour 1-1/2 cups of water in the pressure cooker pot and insert the trivet.
Cut a disk of parchment paper and place in the bottom of whichever pan you are using, then grease the sides of the pan, and you might as well grease the top of the parchment while you are at it.
Now that your pan is ready, we can get our dry ingredients set. In a bowl combine 1-1/4 cups flour (156 grams), 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of allspice and about 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg. Stir to combine and set aside for now.
For the wet ingredients, I found things turn out better with a stand mixer, but if you don’t have one, stirring like the dickens should work ok. In the bowl of the stand mixer, add in a couple of large eggs, 1/2 cup cooking oil, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup honey, 1 cup pumpkin puree and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. With the mixer on medium-high beat everything together for 3-4 minutes.
Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a mesh strainer. Add in the salt and turn the mixer to low and mix just enough so that the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet.
Add in the walnuts and raisins and stir with a spoon just enough to blend them into the batter.
Pour this whole mess into your prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula so that it is no longer mess-like. Cover the pan with foil. You don’t need to worry about sealing up every little hole, we’re just looking to cover the top pretty well.
Lower the pan onto the trivet that was previously placed in the pressure cooker. Wow, that was a lot of P’s in a paltry period of time. Phew!
Set the pressure cooker to come up to high pressure for 30 minutes.
When time is up, let the pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release.
Carefully remove the pan from the pressure cooker and remove the foil. Let cool for a few minutes and turn onto a plate.