Sunday, December 7, 2008

Grasmere Gingerbread, my version

Grasmere Gingerbread (shortbread)

Both my husband and I were English majors in college, so it's not altogether surprising we often took trips to the UK. I had a London pen pal, from 1961 until her death in 2004, so that was another reason to visit. At any rate, one trip in the 1980s was a hiking trip in the Lake District, including a stay in Grasmere, where Wordsworth lived. That little town is famous for its gingerbread, which is nothing like any gingerbread found here in Wisconsin. The actual recipe is a secret, though many folks have tried to duplicate it. Seems to me I remember the original had some preserved ginger. Their version is closer to shortbread, thin, buttery and crisp, than the more cake-like American version. I did my best to convert a British recipe to American ingredients and measurements and came up with this.

Grasmere Gingerbread
2 cups flour (can be part oatmeal that has been whirled in a blender until fine)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground ginger (I added a little grated fresh ginger)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 sticks butter

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and grease a 9X13 inch baking pan

Combine the dry ingredients. Cut in the cold butter and rub with your fingers until it resembles fine meal. Press into the prepared baking pan. It will be crumbly. Bake for 35 minutes.

Once it is on a wire rack, let it sit a couple minutes, then cut into squares. Let it cool completely in the pan, then remove the gingerbread squares and store in a tin.

If anyone in the UK has a better version, I'd love to hear about it. If you try it, I'd like to know what you think.


JoAnn said...

Sherry, we had gingerbread in Grasmere too and it was wonderful (especially with the clotted cream or lemon curd on top). I have never seen a recipe, but will try yours.

Where did you find the recipe? Now that I am looking, I see several online.....

Sharon said...

Oh, I love gingerbread. I will try this.