Happy Thanksgiving. Something to be thankful for in lieu of pie and as breakfast tomorrow when you don't feel like cooking EVER again -could just get you over the hump.
Gingerbread Shortcake with Caramelized Pear
- 2 cups all purpose flour (whole wheat works too)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch cloves
- Several gratings fresh nutmeg
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 candied ginger, cut into long slivers
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir well. Cut in butter and quickly work dough to create a coarse crumb. Combine vanilla bean seeds and heavy cream and quickly mix into dough. Turn out onto a parchment lines baking sheet and gently pat into a square - roughly 8 x 8. Refrigerate about 1 hour. Heat oven to 375. Cut dough into 8 equal squares and reconfigure on baking sheet so there is some breathing space between. Pat top of each square with a little cold water and sprinkle with sugar. Top with a few slivers candied ginger. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Best warm.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 pounds firm but ripe pears, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peak, for serving
Melt butter in a heavy bottomed skillet over low heat. Add sugar, sprinkling so to create a more or less even layer. Let stand a few minutes while sugar melts into butter and softens. Increase heat slightly. Add sliced pears and cook, shaking pan until sugar melts completely and starts to caramelized - shake pan to prevent scorching. Add brandy and let bubble up. Reduce heat and let simmer just long enough that pears soften, release some juices and are drenched in golden caramel. Sandwich pears between halved Ginger Bread Shortcakes and serve with whipped cream.