My favorite holiday has arrived and like a little kid I’m in high gear and excited as can be. Everyone went home after Thanksgiving and I wanted them to stay! There was so much more I wanted to cook for everyone. Sometimes I think I should run a restaurant so I could cook for more people. After much thought, no, that’s not a good idea. I just need a slightly bigger family!
This week I am sharing a recipe I wrote in 2016 for a gingerbread trifle. It starts with my family recipe for gingerbread. Of course, if you don’t like raisins you can leave them out, but yours truly loves them in the cake. We turn this trifle into a fall/winter salute. But with a little bit of creativity you will find ways to change the flavors and ingredients.
Trifles have been around for what seems like forever. In years past it was a way to use up dried out cakes and pastries. They are easy to orchestrate when you’re traveling. Call the hostess, explain you’ll need a gorgeous bowl; and then bring the ingredients in Ziploc bags ready to create your masterpiece.
Also in years past trifles were generously covered, actually saturated with alcohol! They would make the cake ‘early’ just so the alcohol had plenty of time to soak into the cake portion. Most of the time I think trifles are just dandy without any hint of alcohol.
In the current recipe I have gone with the pumpkin influence, but keep in mind how nicely lemon goes with gingerbreads. If I can remember I’ll stick in my lemon sauce recipe that I also use when serving ‘just’ gingerbread.
Sometimes during the holidays the trifle presents a much lighter approach to the desserts of the season. It’s indeed sweet, but not heavy like a cheesecake or pie could be. A trifle would also work for folks watching their sugar intakes due to health issues. Fresh fruit and light whipped cream would be lovely with an angel food cake.
Enjoy the scents and sounds of this wonderful season. Simply Yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Bake Daddy’s Gingerbread Cake according to the recipe below. Make sure the cake is totally cold before making the trifle.
GINGERBREAD PUMPKIN TRIFLE
2 1/2 cups flour 1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ginger 4 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup molasses
2 teaspoons soda 1 cup sour milk (see below)
1 scant cup shortening (butter used here)
Options: 1 cup raisins with 1 tablespoon flour and/or chopped nuts, neither of which was used for this winter trifle.
Cream shortening with sugar; add eggs and beat well. Add molasses. Whisk all the dry ingredients together and blend into the creamed mixture. Lastly stir in the soured milk (1-2 tablespoons vinegar added to the milk so that it equals one cup.) If using raisins or nuts, turn them into the flour and add to cake. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch greased baking pan. Bake in a 300 degree oven for about 35 minutes, at which time the baking time needs to be monitored by using a toothpick to check for doneness. Total baking time generally takes 40-45 minutes.
Prepare the Pumpkin Whip recipe (below) well in advance and allow adequate time to chill.
1 package (3.4 oz.) instant butterscotch pudding
1 1/2 cups cold 2% milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups whipped topping
In a mixing bowl beat pudding and milk until blended. After 1-2 minutes add in the pumpkin and spices. Carefully fold in the whipped topping and chill thoroughly.
I was always a gingerbread cake and whipped cream girl until I started making this lemon sauce. This is a delicious partner to the cake. In fact I may have to bake a gingerbread this week!
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup cold water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon fine lemon zest
1 tablespoon butter
Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan, add cold water, lemon juice and zest; whisking to blend. Over medium/medium low heat cook the sauce until it comes to a hard boil. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until melted thoroughly. Remember to use a whisk while stirring the sauce as it produces a smoother outcome than using just a spoon. Yield 1 1/2 cups.
This is a subtle lemon flavor enhancing gingerbread not overpowering in taste.
This simple sauce will work for many uses. Originally I wrote it to go with my Grandfather’s gingerbread in my first cookbook, ‘Simply Yours’. This could be used with blueberry dishes as lemon is very complimentary to blueberries. It can go over pound cakes, angel food cakes and the like.
Debbie Dance Uhrig