Alice’s Gingerbread with Sauteed Apples
Kay’s sister, Alice Gabriel, makes this gingerbread during harvest season up until the winter holidays.
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 cup mild molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick butter (¼ lb.), softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
2 ½ cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9” x 13” pan. (Note: One can make ⅔ of this recipe, using a whole egg, and bake it in an 8" round cake pan. Alice likes wedges rather than squares.)
Boil water in a small pot, remove from heat, stir in molasses and soda. (Note: this will be very foamy). Set aside to cool.
Cream butter and sugar with a paddle attachment (e.g. Kitchenaid mixer) on medium high for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Continuing to mix, add eggs.
Sift salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, flour and baking powder. Alternately fold the dry ingredients and cooled molasses mixture into the butter mixture on low speed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Don't over (or under) bake this! When it is cool, cut it into wedges (if you use a round pan) or 2" by 3" rectangles. Spoon apples over top and around the edges.
(Recipe for warm, sautéed apples follows). Alice likes to garnish the gingerbread with loosely whipped, slightly sweetened cream (add a little vanilla) and minced candied ginger. A light caramel sauce is really good drizzled over or around it, too.
Warm, sautéed apples to accompany gingerbread:
7 medium firm, juicy Yakima Valley apples, such as Jonagold or Golden Delicious
peeled, cored, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 Tbsp. butter
½ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. Calvados
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Melt butter in a saute pan, add all & cook until soft but not mushy.
Harvest Lamb Stew
Crush in the Yakima Valley stretches well into the cold days of fall. After a long day working in this weather, a hearty warming stew is just the ticket. Quick and easy to serve around a communal table, this stew warms from within and prepares us for another session outside.
1 lb. lamb (preferably loin), cut into ½ to ¾ inch cubes
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 cups beef broth (preferably homemade; or Pacific Foods makes a nice alternative)
1 cup Chinook Yakima Valley Red
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried marjoram, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. butter
1 ½ cups sliced carrots
1 ½ cups celery cut into ½ inch slices
½ - ¾ cups onion, chopped finely
2 cups peeled potatoes cut into ½ cubes
½ lb. chanterelle mushrooms, brushed and quartered
½ cup sour cream
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (you may substitute a GF blend of 1 ½ T Tapioca Starch and 1 ½ T Potato Starch and a pinch of Xanthan Gum)
2 Tbsp. Marsala or Dry Amontillado Sherry
Dried thyme (optional)
Half & half (optional)
In a large saucepan brown meat 1/3-1/2 lb. at a time in the hot oil, so as to brown, but not steam the lamb. Drain fat; return all meat to pan. Add beef broth, wine, garlic, marjoram, bay leaf, pinch of sea salt and a pinch of cracked black pepper.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer. Cover for 20 minutes or until almost tender. Add butter to sauté pan over medium-low heat.* Once melted, add carrots, celery and onion (mirepoix) and stir often. When the mirepoix is ready (about the same time as the initial stew simmer) stir it into the stew base along with the mushrooms and potatoes. Return to a low boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until tender.
Discard bay leaf. Whisk sour cream and flour. Whisk ½ cup of the hot stew base into the sour cream mixture. Return to pan; cook and stir until bubbly. Add salt, crushed thyme and up to 2 T. Marsala or Amontillado Sherry to taste, and half & half to adjust the creaminess. Cook and stir 1 minute.
* The goal of mirepoix is to meld the flavors of the three ingredients, thus your heat is essential. Too cool and you’ll just poach the vegetables; too hot and you’ll caramelize them. A heavier pan can help moderate the temperature.
Makes 4 main dish serving. Pairs well with Chinook’s Cabernet Franc and a loaf of crusty, fresh-baked bread.
This loaf was inspired during our 1996 visit to New York City to present our wines at the James Beard House. When the chef's crew was starving, (while preparing an awesome dinner for 90!) we found a perfect semolina loaf at a nearby deli which we have been trying to recreate since. This one is different from the original, but good & easy to make.
Proof for approximately 5 minutes:
2 cups warm water
2 rounded Tablespoons Red Star active dried yeast
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 heaping Tbsp. molasses
2 Tbsp. light olive oil
1 tsp. Salt
2 whole eggs
2 heaping cups durum flour
Unbleached white wheat flour until a soft dough is formed; use dough hook attachment
When dough is still slightly sticky, turn out on countertop & knead more flour into the dough until it is smooth & still soft. Put into large bowl with 1 Tbsp. olive oil in bottom & invert dough.
Let rise at room temperature until doubled. Turn out gently onto flat surface. Divide dough into thirds. Gently form dough into balls, by turning under outer edges. Wipe each ball with water & sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut an “X” in the top of the ball & place on a baking sheet liberally sprinkled with 3 circles of semolina ‘pasta’ flour. Place balls of dough as far apart as possible. Let rise briefly – about 5-10 minutes. Place baking sheet into oven with a baking brick on the bottom. Turn oven on to 400°F and bake for 34 minutes. To brown evenly, turn oven off; turn pan around in oven & bake additional 4-5 minutes.
*Bread does its second rising while oven is preheating – do not preheat oven!
Kay’s Bread from Chinook
2 cups warm water
2 heaping Tbsp. yeast
1-2 Tbsp. sugar (or honey)
Dissolve yeast in warm water; sprinkle sugar over the top. Without stirring, proof until bubbly. (Approximately 5 minutes).
1 tsp. salt
5-6 cups unbleached white bread flour
Knead in flour until smooth & elastic. (Kay uses a KitchenAid mixer with dough hook). Raise in oiled bowl, with about 2 tsp. canola or olive oil, until doubled (45 minutes to 1 hour).
Without punching down, cut dough & shape into two loaves or two baguettes. Handle dough gently. Dip bottoms of loaves in cornmeal & place on baking sheets or baguette pans. No further raising time is necessary. Slash tops of loaves with sharp knife. Brush w/ egg white if shiny top is desired.
Place baking sheet into cold oven. Turn oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake loaves 30-35 minutes.