img_5625Even though we are in the midst of yet another heat way I was in the mood for some fall baking.  That to me always means pear tarts, apple pies and pumpkin.  I didn’t really feel like pears or apple pie.  What I was really in the mood for was something pumpkin.  I thought that pumpkin pie was just a bit too heavy for this hot weather and besides, in a few weeks I will be making it for Thanksgiving anyway.  I considered a pumpkin pound cake or a pumpkin steamed pudding and then it hit me.  My sisters fantastic pumpkin roll.  Her pumpkin roll is out of this world.  I can never decide if the best part is the wonderful pumpkin sponge or the incredible cream cheese and nut filling but no matter which it is this roll is superb.  I know that pumpkin is usually associated with the Thanksgiving holiday but this roll for me is always associated with Christmas.  I think that it is because I usually never made it home for Thanksgiving but when I would show up at Christmas, my sister always had several of these pumpkin rolls on hand for the celebrations.  I have always loved it and when she gave me the recipe I have made it every year since then.

img_5627It is a fairly easy recipe.  For me the hardest thing is waiting around for everything to get to room temperature.  If your like me and like to start baking at 5:00 in the morning, that waiting around can seem like an eternity.  At any rate, I am sure my sister won’t mind if I share her recipe.  This recipe will make one pumpkin roll but I always double it and make two as it never stays around long.

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For the sponge:

3 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice
2/3 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

For the filling”

1 cup confectioners sugar
4 Tbl butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts)

Beat the eggs on high speed for 5 minutes.  Beat in the lemon juice.  Fold in the pumpkin.  Sift together the dry ingredients and stir in to the egg mixture.  Spread the batter in a well greased & floured 15x10x1 in cookie sheet. ( I usually just spray the sheet with non-stick cooking spray and then line it with parchment).

Bake the sponge for 15 minutes at 235 degrees, or until lightly browned.  Turn it out onto a towel well dusted with confectioners sugar.  Dust the top of the sponge with more confectioners sugar and then roll up in the towel and allow to cool completely.

Make the filling:  Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in the confectioners sugar and vanilla until incorporated.  Stir in the nuts.

When the sponge is cool, unroll and spread with the filling.  Reroll the sponge and dust with confectioners sugar.

img_5631You can make these way ahead and wrap them in plastic wrap and foil and freeze them until needed.

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