Craig Flinn, a particularly talented Food Day chef who has cooked in many of the best kitchens in Atlantic Canada, created this recipe for The Red Shoe Pub in Mabou, Cape Breton. The “Shoe,” as it’s called locally, is owned by the Rankin sisters. Music pervades the village and people line up, often in their lawn chairs, waiting to go inside to partake.
Gingerbread is classic in the Maritimes. This is the best I’d ever tasted. Period! While it’s baking, the house smells of spice. Serve it with whipped cream or as Craig does with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream, topped with grated fresh ginger and sometimes a spoonful of applesauce.
• ½ cup (125 mL) softened butter
• ½ cup (125 mL) brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup (250 mL) molasses
• 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated fresh ginger
• 2 cups (500 mL) flour
• 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
• 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
• ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
• 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
• 1 tsp (5 mL) dry ginger
• ½ tsp (2 mL) ground cloves
• 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water
In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar till light in colour. Add eggs, one at a time and continue to beat till fluffy. Beat in molasses and grated ginger.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, dry ginger and cloves. Add to the creamed mixture with the boiling water. Pour into a parchment-lined 9 x 13” (3.5 L) baking pan. Bake in preheated 325’F (160’C) oven for 45 – 50 minutes or until a tested comes out clean.
Serve it in large squares directly from the pan.
Makes 8 – 12 servings.