Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Beer Bread

I just made this tonight to go with a home made Tomatoes From The Garden Soup. Very tasty.

I wanted to try pumpkin beer, as I had it on hand and it's a bit sweet. It went very well with the soup but was sweet enough to use for bread pudding or shortcake. This is very easy and smells and just like home-made yeast bread, without the kneading. In fact, the key is not to stir it very much so the beer bubbles remain inflated. Make sure to pick a beer with lots of CO2.

I think I may try a Lambic raspberry beer for a dessert treat, and Rogues Dead Guy Ale for Chili.

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 bottle (12 ounces)pumpkin beer, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the beer all at once, mixing as little as possible; the batter should be lumpy.

Pour the batter into a 9-x-5-x-3-inch loaf pan and brush with the melted butter. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lime Ginger Pineapple Upside Down Gingerbread Cake

You can use a 9-inch pan with sides that are at least 2 inches high. Alternatively, a 10-inch ovensafe skillet (either cast iron or stainless steel) can be used not only to cook the pineapple but to bake the cake as well. If using a skillet instead of a cake pan, cool the juices directly in the skillet while making the batter; it's OK if the skillet is still warm when the batter is added. I like it with Whipped cream that has candied ginger and lime zest folded in, ice cream is good too. This is best served warm and I heat up the left over slices in the microwave for about 10 sec.

I recommend pairing this with an amazing Erath 2008 late harvest Pinot Blanc that I was fortunate to taste yesterday at the winery. This is a sweet wine with enough acid and complexity to stand up to the pineapple''''''s acid. The wine is only available at the winery but what beautiful weather for a bit of a road trip.


Pineapple Topping
1medium fresh pineapple (about 4 pounds), prepared according to illustrations below (about 4 cups prepared fruit)
1cup firmly packed light brown sugar (7 ounces)
1tablespoon grated lime zest
1/4cup fresh squeezedlime juice
3tablespoons unsalted butter
teaspoon vanilla extract
teaspoon grated ginger root
1 1/2cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
1/2teaspoon table salt
3/4teaspoon ground ginger
8tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), softened but still cool
3/4cup granulated sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
teaspoon vanilla extract
tablespoons molasses
2large eggs at room temperature
1egg white at room temperature
1/3cup whole milk at room temperature


  1. 1. Lightly spray 9-inch round, 2-inch deep cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

  2. 2. For the pineapple topping: Combine pineapple, brown sugar, ginger, and lime zest in 10-inch skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally during first 5 minutes, until pineapple is translucent and has light brown hue, 15 to 18 minutes. Empty fruit and juices into mesh strainer or colander set over medium bowl. Return juices to skillet, leaving pineapple in strainer (you should have about 2 cups cooked fruit). Add lime juice to skillet and simmer juices over medium heat until thickened, beginning to darken, and mixture forms large bubbles, 6 to 8 minutes, adding any more juices released by fruit to skillet after about 4 minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla; pour caramel mixture into prepared cake pan. Set aside while preparing cake. (Pineapple will continue to release liquid as it sits; do not add this liquid to already-reduced juice mixture.)

  3. 3. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and ginger in medium bowl; set aside.

  4. 4. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with flat beater, cream butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, add vanilla and molasses, and beat to combine; one at a time, add whole eggs then egg white, beating well and scraping down bowl after each addition. Reduce speed to low; add about one-third of flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add half of milk and beat until incorporated; repeat, adding half of remaining flour mixture and remaining milk, and finish with remaining flour. Give final stir with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl to ensure that batter is combined. Batter will be thick.

  5. 5. To bake: Working quickly, distribute cooked pineapple in cake pan in even layer, gently pressing fruit into caramel. Using rubber spatula, drop mounds of batter over fruit, then spread batter over fruit and to sides of pan. Tap pan lightly against work surface to release any air bubbles. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack, then place inverted serving platter over cake pan. Invert cake pan and platter together; lift off cake pan. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours; then cut into pieces and serve.