I have often heard it bandied about that "Necessity is the mother of invention," and never has that old idiom been more true than it has during this past week here at the cottage.
Todd is a very well organized person, so organized in fact that I have spent the last few days with loads of fresh food to use up, but no spices or herbs to help me use them up.
I love spice and herbs. I use them all the time in my cooking. I had some apples and bread to use up, and decided to make my Apple Brown Betty recipe. The perfect recipe to use them up with . . .
except for one thing . . . no spices . . . no cinnamon or nutmeg to give it the homey warm flavour that screams comfort and "Home Sweet Home" to all who are lucky enough to indulge themselves in this particular dessert of mine, around my kitchen table.
I did have, however, a nice fat jar of ginger jam in the refrigerator. We love ginger in this house . . . candied ginger, preserved root ginger in syrup, powdered ginger . . . ginger and apples go very well together too.
I thought and thought about it, and then I decided to be really brave, and throw caution to the wind, and to incorporate several dessertspoons of the ginger jam into the apples . . . just to give them some extra flavour and spice.
Good call on my part. Very good call!! Excellent addition! This was soooooooo good, with soft and tart slices of apple, spicy sweet little nibbles throughout of preserved ginger and syrup, and the buttery crunch of bread crumbs on the top!!!
I love it when I do something extraordinarily brave like that and it turns out scrummily moreishly good! (Whew!! It could so easily have gone the other way!)
*Gingered Apple Brown Betty*
Serves 4 to 6
This is the ultimate example of thrift and making use of what we have at hand. Stale bread, apples and ginger jam . . . deliciously magnificent!
3 cups soft bread cubes (crusts removed)
7 TBS melted butter
6 peeled and sliced tart apples (Granny Smith are great)
3 to 4 ounces soft light brown sugar (depending on the tartness of your apples)
the juice and finely grated zest of one lemon
1/2 cup water
3 heaped dessertspoons of ginger jam
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter a shallow baking dish really, really well. Melt the butter. Toss the melted butter together with the bread cubes. Layer half of the bread cubes in the baking dish. Mix together the brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, water and ginger jam, mixing it together well. Lay the sliced apples on top of the bread cubes. Pour the ginger jam mixture evenly over top. Top with the remaining half of the bread cubes. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the apples are tender and the bread cubes are lightly browned. If you find they are browning too quickly, cover the dish lightly with foil, uncovering the last 5 minutes or so to crisp up again. Serve warm with some cream, custard or vanilla ice cream.