The truth is, I'm not a huge pie fan.
Around this time of year, in this country, that's about like saying I'm a card-carrying commie. (I don't actually have a card…)
You know. Un-American.
Bakeries everywhere have started cranking out pies and will continue to roll and bake through the end of December.
But there it is. Every Thanksgiving, I'm faced with another pie shell filled with mashed up pumpkin or mincemeat or apples or pecans or some combination. The only pies I get really enthusiastic about are berry pies and those aren't a Thanksgiving thing.
So I'm always looking for a new Thanksgiving/holiday dessert. This year, besides a pretty great pecan pie (Julia Child's crust recipe filled with a no-Karo pecan pie filling,) I decided to make gingerbread.
I used Blake Spalding and Jen Castle's recipe for Black Magic Gingerbread from With a Measure of Grace, the Hell's Backbone Cookbook, left out the chopped pears, cloves and cinnamon, added some grated fresh ginger and upped the ground chile and wound up with the hit dessert of the holiday, topped with salted caramel gelato.
Here it is:
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground Chimayo chile
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3 Tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
3 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Stir the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat for 2 or 3 minutes. Beat in molasses, scrapingdown the bowl frequently, preferably with an electric mixer. Add the dry ingredients, stirring with a spoon so as not to overbeat. Stir in boiling water, mixing well. Add grated and chopped ginger. Pour batter into pan and bake about 40 minutes. Cut into squares and serve with a scoop of salted caramel gelato.