The weather is finally cooling off, and it’s the perfect season to bake. This recipe is a three-generation effort: the gingerbread recipe comes from my great-grandmother, the apple nut whip from my mother, and the final modifications to each from me. And let me assure you… the results are everything that could be desired. This is a rich, decadent dessert, perfect for spoiling yourself and your loved ones in autumn.
The first direction in my great-grandmother’s recipe is to “cream” the shortening. While I knew what this meant, I realized that I did not actually understand the purpose of the process. Baking911 has an excellent writeup on this technique, available here. Another anachronism I had to research was the use of “thick sour milk”. What was this stuff, I wondered? A quick Google search revealed that buttermilk would make a fine substitute, and the recipe results confirmed the fact.
I realized halfway through reading the gingerbread recipe that it did not specify what size of baking dish to use. I considered using an 8” x 8” x 2” pan (and indeed, the batter probably would have fit) but opted for the safer option of a 13” x 9” Pyrex dish. I checked on the gingerbread periodically during baking, and found that it was done long before the prescribed time of 50 minutes. This leads me to believe that my great-grandmother probably did use an 8” x 8” x 2” pan after all, but the gingerbread came out just fine. :)
Apologies for the quality of pictures in this post. One of the lighting fixtures in my kitchen is not working, and I have not yet had it repaired.
Ingredients for Gingerbread Deluxe:
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 2 cups sifted white flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 cup buttermilk
Directions for Gingerbread Deluxe:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, cream the shortening.
Add the sugar gradually, and cream the mixture thoroughly.
Blend in the egg and the molasses.
Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, and cinnamon together.
Add the sifted mixture to the molasses mixture in small portions…
…alternating with portions of the buttermilk.
Pour the gingerbread batter into a greased 13” x 9” baking dish.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
While the gingerbread is baking, make the Apple Nut Whip as directed below.
Ingredients for Apple Nut Whip:
- 1 egg white
- 2 apples
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup whipped topping
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
Directions for Apple Nut Whip:
Grate the apples, and squeeze out any excess moisture.
Beat the egg white until it holds a point.
Gradually beat in the powdered sugar.
Fold in the whipped topping.
Fold the apples and nuts into the mixture.
This is what the apple nut whip should look like when finished.
Chill, and serve over warm gingerbread.
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