I’m going to give you a fantastic but easy apple gingerbread dessert for St. Paddy’s Day. Why? Because I care about you and your taste buds, that’s why.
Sherwood, you’ll want to skip right over this.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Core and peel a pound and a half of apples. Then slice them up into half-inch pieces and mix with 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp lemon peal and spread it out in the bottom of a greased 8X8 inch baking pan.
Sift 1 and 1/4 cups of flour, 1 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground cloves into a small bowl. We generally use the dry powder ginger, although if you’re a purist who can’t abide the idea, you can peel and grate a tsp and a half of whole ginger and add it to the next bit.
In a large bowl, cream 1/4 cup of butter with 1/2 cup of sugar. I use the stand mixer for this. After they’re well-mixed, add one egg and 1/2 cup molasses. Not the black strap kind. Gross. Beat until smooth.
Finally, put 1/2 cup of water on to boil. When it’s bubbling strong, toss in 1/2 tsp baking soda.
Beat the molasses mixture, alternately adding the flour mixture and the boiling water. When it’s all mixed nicely, pour it over the apples and slide it into the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, then cut into squares and serve warm with fresh-whipped cream.
It dirties a few bowls, but it’s so very worth it. It was even worth it back before we had the stand mixer and I had to cream the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. My wife loves it and this year, because I’ll be day-jobbing during the day, she’ll be making it herself.
But that’s dessert. The main course will be reuben sandwiches; two years ago we realized we didn’t much care for the boiled potatoes and cabbage, only the leftovers the next day. Now we skip the meal I grew up eating every March 17 and went straight to the good stuff. Thank you, modern times, for helping us treat family traditions with the contempt they deserve.