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Author Notes: Recently I came across Emily Dickinson's gingerbread recipe with notes about all the food gifts that she made to friends. As a resident of Amherst I would have loved to have made her gingerbread. Adapting her recipe, I would give her this version. —Sagegreen
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup or half a gill of butter
- 1/4 cup or half a gill of heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1/4 cup or half a gill of molasses
- 1.5 ounces honey
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- butter for pan
- 1 pared pear, sliced
- handful of toasted pecans dipped in molasses with a few drops of maple syrup
- handful of sugared fresh cranberries or dried
- 1 egg white, whisked
- sprinkle of sugar, demerara suggested
- whipped cream or ginger ice cream for garnish
- fresh herbal sprig, mint or lavender
- Sift the dry ingredients together.
- Cream the butter. Lightly whip the cream. Combine these two. Fold in the molasses, honey and syrup. Add the ginger. Mix in with the dry ingredients to form a dough.
- Butter a baking dish, preferably oval, preferably cast iron. Press the dough into a dish (about 12 inches long or so) between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick. You can also use cast iron muffin pans for somewhat cookie-like results (cooking time may be shorter this way).
- Slice the pared pear into thin lengths. Press into the top of the dough. Arrange the toasted pecans and cranberries in the center.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Then remove quickly to paint a light glaze of egg white evenly on top. Sprinkle with sugar. Return to bake for 5-10 more minutes until golden brown and cooked through inside (use the toothpick test).
- Cool, then plate. Add whipped, or ice cream, and an herbal garnish, savoring over a cup of tea as you read Emily's "Final Harvest."
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Non-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert