Raise a Glass with Ginger; Cherries, Apricots and Beer
Cherries and Apricots are great friends of beer. Yes, you heard it here, folks. Fruit is a terrific partner with beer. Beer and fruit share a few characteristics.
- As they age the flavors change.
- There’s a tremendous variety of both.
- As ingredients, beer and fruit have much to offer our taste buds.
Since I love to cook in general, and with beer in particular, here are a few ideas in using beer as an ingredients with these lovely fruits.
- Several Lambic style beers are made with whole fruit or fruit puree. Lindemans, a widely available brand of Lambic beer, offer a range of flavors with which to pair the fruit: tart green apple, succulent peach, and crisp black currant among them. Use both the fruit and matching beer to make cobblers and coffee and breakfast cakes. Substitute thinner liquids for the beer, make a glaze or frosting with beer, and consider simply drizzling beer on top of a fresh baked goodie for a zip of flavor.
- Apricots have sweetness as well as an acidity that can be complemented well with beer. Choosing a moderate and malt forward beer, such as Ambers and Browns, will yield flavorful results. Pies are an ideal treat to make with beer, both sweet and savory. Use some of your chosen beer in the crust and soak bread for bread pudding in a lush beer. Yum! A porter would be delicious in that bread pudding, adding a totally new layer of flavor. Whipping some fresh cream with a touch of stout is a topper worthy of any chocolate goodies!
Beer is an exceptional sauce ingredient as well. Cooking beer can and will dramatically change the flavor profile as compared to what the beer tasted like in your glass. Temperature has a major impact on the beer, taste wise and chemically, just as temperature has on fruit. Be mindful of what temperature can do and make notes as you use more beer in your cooking. Recording what you use, what you do, and other ingredients present will help you improve your results and avoid not-so-tasty attempts.
I’ve not exbeerimented much with beer in preserving foods like jams and pickles yet. Nonetheless, as an avid canner and preserver, it’s on my short list! I do know to only use reputable recipes in preserving foods, as you can have serious and deadly consequences unless you’re careful with the science and biology of preserving. And for now, I’ll enjoy the canned and preserved goodies I’ve made, post maturation, with fresh beer and other foods.
One of the many great things about beer and food together and cooking with beer is that you can then enjoy the beer in the glass and on the plate. It’s a double whammy for your palate. And one I frequently practice solo as well as with family and friends. Moderation is the ultimate principle in all food and beverage consumption.
Since Mom’s day is this weekend, what a perfect reason to put that apron on, get into the kitchen, and whip up a fun and tasty recipe with beer for the Mom in your life.
Shop for fruit to your hearts content, procure the beer you want to try, and lap it all up. Beer and food. Two of my favorite things in life, brought to life to help us celebrate home.
Events: Seattle Beer Week – save the dates to savor the flavors! May 10 – 19, 2013
Use both the fruit and matching beer to make cobblers and coffee and breakfast cakes. Substitute thinner liquids for the beer, make a glaze or frosting with beer, and consider simply drizzling beer on top of a fresh baked goodie for a zip of flavor.
Author: Ginger Johnson