Sweet As Molasses

Fall, Featured Article, In Season, Ingredient
on September 27, 2011

Molasses may be “slower in January,” but the fall makes us crave this thick, intensely flavored syrup. Think beyond molasses cookies—this pantry staple brings a dose of sweetness and a hint of warmth to lots of dishes, from barbecue sauce to gingerbread to baked beans.
Molasses is derived from sugar cane juice. The first boiling makes a light syrup that’s perfect for pouring over pancakes and waffles—or with the addition of live yeast and a little age—for making rum. But it’s the second boiling we love—a darker, thicker, slightly less sweet syrup with a signature flavor that’s ideal for baked goods, glazes and marinades.

Lemon-Dijon Glaze
Brush pork, chicken or lamb with a mixture of lemon juice, molasses, Dijon mustard and garlic.

Molasses-Soy Marinade
Combine molasses, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a drizzle of sesame oil for a marinade for pork and salmon.

Molasses Cream Pie
For a quick-and-easy dessert, whisk 2 tablespoons molasses with 1/2 cup canned pumpkin pie filling and a pint of softened vanilla bean ice cream or frozen yogurt. Spoon into a cookie or graham-cracker pie crust (gingerbread would be especially tasty), refreeze and serve garnished with whipped cream and warm caramel sauce.