December 2nd – Food and Beer Pairing

Hop Head Said(Sugar Baby Pumpkin)

Beer: Old Fezziwig Ale (5.9%)
Brewery: Sam Adams (found in the winter variety 12 pack)
Style: Winter Warmer
Serving: Pint Glass 45°- 50°


Beer: Wassail (9%)

Brewery: Full Sail
Style: Winter Warmer
Serving: Pint Glass 45°- 50°

General description and suggestion: Winter warmers are meant to do just that, warm you up! These full-bodied beers will often have pronounced caramel or molasses-like aromas and flavors as well as a warming alcohol presence. These beers also have a wide range of alcohol presence so be sure to check out the ABV before you pour yourself big ole pint.

Often times Winter Warmers or Holiday Ales, as they are sometimes called, are brewed with special spices such as clove or cinnamon. These spices can make them a perfect for pairing with holiday deserts such as pumpkin pie. If you don’t see a description on the packaging look at the brewery website or for ingredients or taste descriptions.

Specific description and suggestion: First, let me start by saying that this recipe tastes sooo good but it is sooo bad for you, as many holiday desserts are. Also, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort with this recipe if you use the canned pumpkin mush but please don’t short change yourself. Mashing the fresh baked pumpkin with a fork then whisking it until it is smooth gives this dessert a much better texture (the best in my opinion) than canned pumpkin. You won’t regret the time or the effort.

I love it when a single beer pairs so well with a recipe but I get down right giddy when two beers fit the bill so well. You will be able to find the Sam Adams mixed winter 12 pack just about anywhere unfortunately but Trader Joes has a great price on the Wassail this season. These two beers pair so well with desserts because their residual sweetness and spicing makes them a dessert to begin with! Their spices resonate with the Pumpkin Crisp spices and their full-bodies enhance the creamy goodness. The cayenne pepper spiced pecans add fun little kick that will only linger until your next bite or sip.

Pumpkin Crisp

1 Sugar Baby Pumpkin or 32oz of can of pumpkin
4 eggs slightly beaten
3 cups evaporated milk
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
1 (2-layer) yellow cake mix
½ cup butter melted
1 cup chopped and spiced pecans

Cut and clean pumpkin into thin slices and roast them in the oven at 350° to develop an intense pumpkin taste and tender. Poke with a fork to test. This could take as long as an hour. If you need to speed up the process put slices in the microwave for a couple of minutes until tender.

Put baked pumpkin flesh in a bowl (stand-up mixer is best) with whisk and beat on high until the pumpkin texture is smooth without any lumps.

Combine all but the last three ingredients. Pour into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle pecans on top of cake mixture. Drizzle melted butter over the top.

Bake for 350° for 1 hour