We are always searching for desserts with apricot, peach, apple, raisin and dried fig flavors to match the rich dried fruit flavors of our sweet dessert wine, Semillon de Soleil. With the simple, two step recipe that follows, Chef Jim Neal has come up with a winner. It combines the tastes of sun-ripened California fruit with the sweet, spicy character of gingerbread. Jim serves it often here at Stony Hill as a rich and complex accompaniment to the Semillon de Soleil. What better way to end a wine country lunch or dinner! He credits his colleague, Chef Gary Danko, with the gingerbread recipe.
1 c sugar
1 c molasses
½ c vegetable oil
¾ tsp salt
1 c boiling water
1 tsp ground clove
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
2 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ c dried cherries
¾ c dried apricots, cut into fourths
½ c golden raisins
½ vanilla bean, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c Red Verjus (A versatile, wine-friendly vinegar substitute found in gourmet cook shops.)
1 small stick cinnamon
1 whole clove
2 whole black peppercorns
2 cups Stony Hill Chardonnay
- In one bowl mix the sugar, molasses, eggs, vegetable oil and salt. In the other mix the clove, ginger, nutmeg, flour, and baking soda.
- Gently whisk the wet ingredients together; then fold in the dry ingredients.
- Thin the mixture with the boiling water, then pour into a buttered 8” or 9” cake pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and warm over medium heat for 30 minutes or until fruit has softened.
- Allow to cool to room temperature while the pectin in the fruit thickens the sauce.
- Serve between two slices of warm gingerbread with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. And don’t forget a glass of Stony Hill Semillon de Soleil!