Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gingery Goodness

I love using ginger in recipes. I have several ginger cookie recipes I will have to post at some point, but I've been using ginger in some interesting fruit dishes lately.

This recipe is one I clipped from the newspaper years ago (it's from Bobby Flay's book "New York City Cooks"). I think I tried it years ago, but I used dried ginger because I didn't have a ginger grater. I now have a spiffy Microplane zester, and the fresh ginger is awesome! The pears were excellent, but they are mild enough in flavor, I think you would be hard pressed to notice the difference between pears and apples in this recipe. Use whatever is cheaper, or what kind of tree you have in your backyard!

Pear and Ginger Crisp with Spiced Whipped Cream

  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 T butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 T grated fresh ginger
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 2 T grated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 medium pears, peeled, cored, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
Spiced Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. each ground cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375°. Butter baking dish. (I used my cute little pan-- 9x7, maybe?) Toast pecans in over for about 8 minutes and set aside. When cool, chop into desired consistency. (I like mine really fine, although the recipe calls for a "coarse" chop). In another bowl, mix flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Use a spoon (or pastry cutter) to slowly stir in the butter. Add pecans.

In another bowl, mix ginger, lemon juice, sugar, salt and sliced pears. Turn into prepared baking dish and cover with topping mixture. Bake until topping is crisp and pears are soft when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 40 minutes.

Whip the cream and then beat in sugar and spices.

The pears, awaiting the topping.

A lovely serving, with the whipped cream!

Wow, this was good!

The whipped cream was excellent, too. I was worried it would be too spicy, but there was just a hint of spice while maintaining the coolness of whipped cream.

The next recipe is from Orangette. I loved her recent book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table. I doubled the recipe, since I had bought a big bag of plums at the farmer's market the week before.

Plum Crumble

Plum Spices:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (I found this in the gourmet spice section at Wegmans, but for you Albany folks, Evan says Candy Kraft sells this!)
  • About 24 Italian prune plums, halved and pitted (I bought freestone plums, they are SO much easier than the other ones I bought this summer.)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, well-beaten
  • 14 (!!!) T butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, whisk together the seasoning for the plums: the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger and crystallized ginger. Add the plums and gently stir to coat. Arrange the plums skin side up in an ungreased baking dish. (Same cute baking dish as the pear crisp, which was probably too small. Maybe a 13x9?)

They do NOT look pretty right now, even accounting for the terrible light.

In another medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the topping. Whisk to blend well. Add the eggs. Using your hands (I did a first stir with the pastry cutter), mix thoroughly, squeezing and tossing and pinching handfuls of the mixture, to produce moist little particles. Sprinkle evenly over the plums. Spoon the butter evenly over the topping, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is browned and the plums yield easily when pricked with a knife or toothpick. Let cool some before serving with creme fraiche (I still have yet to ever try this!), thick yogurt, or whipping cream. Or vanilla yogurt. Mmm...

This topping is excellent, and the plums are prune-y and gingery. Delicious!

The next recipe is from Cook's Country, one of my favorite food magazines. I read Marilyn's copies, and then I subscribe to the online archives. It's the best gingerbread I have ever had! The only change I made was to the liquid for the cake-- the recipe called for 3/4 cup stout. I had no idea how to go about buying that amount of beer, and I decided I could find some acceptable substitute. I searched "alcohol substitutes" but didn't find much to help me in a recipe dessert. The usual answer was chicken broth. I thought about what other flavored waters were available-- tea seemed the perfect answer to a gingerbread recipe!

Bold and Spicy Gingerbread

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 16 T (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 T ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice (I don't have allspice; mixed equal parts ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper, and that worked fine!)
  • 1/4 tsp. finely ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 tsp. fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup molasses, "robust" or "dark"
  • 3/4 cup black tea
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 3 T ginger ale OR orange juice OR lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
Heat oven to 375°. Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat until bubbling. Stir in ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Whisk eggs, sugar and fresh ginger in large bowl until light and frothy. Stir in melted butter mixture, molasses, and tea until incorporated. Whisk flour mixture into egg mixture until no lumps remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and gently tap on countertop to release any trapped air bubbles. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cook cake in pan 20 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet. Let cool completely.

For the glaze, whisk confectioner's sugar, ginger ale (or preferred juice) and ginger in bowl until smooth. Pour glaze over cooled cake. Let glaze set 15 minutes. Serve. Cake can be stored at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap, for two days.

I don't have a picture of this gingerbread, since I haven't made it since last winter. I still have some fresh ginger in the fridge, though, and the air is getting full of autumn, so I will be making it soon!

1 comment:

  1. I just got 80 lbs of honeycrisp apples..and i think i will try the pear and ginger crisp...sounds sooo yummy and perfect for this rainy day! Thanks!