Scott McKenzie will always be my favorite nut. We lost our friend and MIX 105.1 morning leader way too soon but he lives on in the example that he lived: courageous, courteous and pretty darn crafty at making everyone around him be better people. I am blessed to have two media families, my Sentinel cohorts, and the Jay, Dana, Adam, Brad, Angela and many others at Mix 105.1. Food and music: They go together like icing and cake.
I have so many Scott stories. One that always makes me smile is how excited he would get when a MIX 105.1 staff member brought in Pumpkin Swirl Bread just after Halloween. The recipe is a Sentinel Test Kitchen classic from longtime recipe tester Betty Boza. The quick bread recipe first published in 1987. It wasn’t fall until the Pumpkin Swirl Bread was sliced and shared. In Scott’s memory, I created a spin off. It’s rolled to celebrate his love of rock. It’s nutty because, well, that goes without saying. And it’s sweet because he was one of the nicest people I have ever known. Put on some Beatles music and let’s bake!
Scott’s Nutty Pumpkin Roll
Makes 12 servings
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt (not coarse salt)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or dark rum
Whole pecans or additional chopped pecans
1. Line a greased 15-by-10-inch rimmed baking pan with parchment paper and grease the paper. Heat oven to 375F.
2. Beat eggs for 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar; beat for 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin and lemon juice.
3. Combine dry ingredients; fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread batter into prepared pan; sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool 5 minutes.
4. Turn cake onto a clean kitchen towel liberally dusted with powdered sugar. Gently peel off parchment paper. Roll up cake in towel, jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
5. Beat filling ingredients until smooth. Unroll cake; spread filling over cake to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Roll up again; place seam side down on a serving platter.
6. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve chilled garnish with additional nuts and fresh fruit.