Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

This one goes out to Spudsy who wrote a great Question of the Day over to Shake's about his pumpkin obsession.

Usually I save this one for Thanksgiving, where it has replaced pumpkin pie as the traditional family favorite, but since I'm going to be in a totally obsessive work mode all next week (the question of the day was about obsessions and I copped to being obsessed with my work in music), blogging will be light and I thought I would offer up something to amuse you all.

So, without further ado. . .Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

The first thing you must do is to make a gingerbread. This is an extra spicy version that has flavor enough to stand up to the other flavors that will be flying around the room.

Ingredients for the Gingerbread:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup apple juice
2 eggs
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Butter and flour a 10" Springform pan. Heat oven to 350°.

Stir together flour, cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt in a container. (I use a plastic measuring pitcher because it comes in handy later)

In a large bowl, mix sugar with oil, juice, molasses, eggs, and fresh ginger in a large bowl. Mix in crystallized ginger. Stir in flour mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Then bake for an hour. Cool this for ten minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely. (You could actually even stop right here and serve this warm with some whipped cream or a nice little Creme Anglais but resist my friends resist this is only going to get better)

Pumpkin Custard Ingredients

3 cups half-and-half
6 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups puréed pumpkin, or about 1 1/2 cans

Scald the half & half in a heavy saucepan (by scalding we mean to take it right up to the edge of boiling then remove it from the heat). In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Mix in pumpkin and warm half-and-half. When it is smooth and thoroughly mixed put it into a buttered baking dish which you then set into a larger baking dish. Fill the larger dish with hot water to about 1" below the rim of the custard dish. This is called a Bain Marie and will ensure that your custard bakes evenly all the way through. Bake this at 325° for 50 minutes and start to check it. You want a set, firm custard and a knife inserted into the center should come out clean. Cool and refrigerate overnight.

To assemble your trifle get your trifle bowl out (visuals are important with this, so don't be a barbarian, get a trifle bowl) and make sure it is sparkling clean.

Whip one quart heavy cream with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and set aside.
You will also want about 1/2 cup of gingersnap crumbs.

Spoon 1/2 of the Pumpkin Custard into the bowl and layer 1/2 of the gingerbread over that and 1/2 of the whipped cream over that. Do it again. Top the final layer of whipped cream with the gingersnap crumbs (optional for you folks that aren't into the whole sobriety thing is to also drizzle the gingerbread layer with a little Grand Marnier or a nice Calvados, not drench you libertine, drizzle).

When you make your entrance with this, remember, be gracious in accepting your accolades. You never have to tell them how easy it was. I never will.

Cross posted at big brass pumpkins


Blogger pissed off patricia said...

A little pumpkin goes a long way with me but this sounds delicious.

3:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




Oh my god, that sounds absolutely fantastic. And I *love* the gingerbread recipe... you actually used real molasses! And I thought I was the only person that bought molasses anymore! ;) I'll definitely have to try this.

One question... where in the world does one get a "trifle bowl?"

6:16 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

one of the things that i absolutely love about this dish is that the custard and gingerbread components are stand alone walk off home run hitters by themselves. together? they are mercilessly good. any store with a decent kitchen section should have a trifle bowl. you're looking for a smooth, straight sided clear glass bowl on a pedastal. i would expect that Target® would be among your best bets because they carry the Martha Stewart line of products. the little bits of crystallized ginger in the gingerbread recipe really set this whole dish off nicely. i crystallize my own ginger and it is nook-U-lar, darker than commercial ginger, i use it in my truffles. during christmas season i dip little squares of the gingerbread in tempered chocolate (i'm giving far too much away here, must stop now)

molasses rules.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous horsedooty said...

you sure your name is Minstrel Boy? not Martha Stewart? I was gonna read this but I think I am gonna go to lunch instead. :)

yo soy Horsedooty!

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Marcus said...

Minstrel Boy,

Since you haven't posted your random ten for today, how about you post what you listen to when you cook these wonderful dishes?

3:58 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

there wasn't a random ten post today because blogger has sucked out loud the whole time. i was unable to even get the compose a post screen up and have only had a couple of sessions where i could post comments. when i'm cooking i usually have the iPod plugged into the speaker port, or there's a game on, or i am listening to what ever stuff i'm working on or getting ready to work on. sometimes if i'm between takes on a project i'll have my last take playing on a loop and be listening for things to do differently if they ask for another. if blogger cooperates i will post a random ten tomorrow.

7:41 PM  
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