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Posts Tagged ‘desserts’

Apple Cider Gingerbread

For some reason, plain water in a recipe just seems to offend my creative instincts. I’m always doing things like saving the juice drained from canned tomatoes to cook my rice in, and when I see water among the ingredients of a recipe, some tiny part of my brain always goes, “Water?  That’s so boring.  I wonder what would happen if I add…[insert some other liquid with more flavor here] instead?” So, it’s no surprise that I decided to substitute apple cider for the hot water in my favorite gingerbread recipe once, and it turned out so well that I’ve been making it that way ever since.

My well-worn copy of The Southern Living Cookbook.

The original recipe in question was “Old-Fashioned Gingerbread”, from The Southern Living Cookbook.  Specifically, from the 1987 edition, which, it turns out, is a bit of a story unto itself. My copy has seen years of faithful service, and it shows. It was branded by a burner on its back cover one time when I got a little too distracted (also the reason the dust jacket is no longer with it), and it’s bristling with loose papers and post-it notes—like the one for the apple cider substitution, stuck beneath the gingerbread recipe. It lives in my kitchen. But when I went looking for an online copy of this book to link to, I got a couple of surprises…

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Bread Pudding

Since I discovered no-knead bread, I haven’t been buying bread at all (thank you, folks at King Arthur Flour!); every couple of days, I mix up a batch of dough, and voilà, fresh bread.  It almost always gets used up before it goes stale, but sometimes time wins out.

That’s the one thing about homemade bread that could be considered a drawback— how quickly it goes stale.  It’s at its best while still warm, the day it was made.  It’s still quite good the following day, but after that (and depending on the specific bread) it begins to lose that freshly made quality.

But it’s not really a drawback, you see, because stale homemade bread makes splendid bread pudding.  Whenever a loaf gets too stale, I put it in the freezer, and when I have about a loaf-and-a-half’s worth, I make bread pudding.

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