Growing up in Milwaukee, beer was an integral part of life. Now, I don't mean that we drink beer here all the time (well I guess some of us do!), but it is definitely an ingredient that comes up time and again in recipes.
Aside from the ice box, it has been found in one of my favorite pork chop recipes (from my grandma's own recipe box), in a large pot soaking many brats alongside the grill (common at local family gatherings), in dips and spreads, in baked beans, and even in breads and desserts!
My husband and I make a delicious and easy (and very Wisconsin) Cheddar Beer Dip by mixing together an 8 oz. block of cream cheese, a cup of shredded Cheddar cheese, a cup of beer (or to appropriate spreading consistency), and a tablespoon of garlic. When spread on crackers, it's fantastic!
Next time, why don't you try mixing a little beer into your favorite recipe for:
- Baked beans
- Cheese fondue
- Dijon mustard (try this with pretzels!)
- Stew or soup (broccoli cheese soup is delicious with beer!)
To give you a head start and get your creative juices flowing, feel free to try this interesting take on the classic chocolate pudding pie. I found this recipe in a great little book called "Beer Cookbook: 101 Recipes With Beer". Find the book using a web search or at your local library!
I made this pie for father's day, for my dad and my husband's stepdad. We also made one to try out before we gave them away. I was not a huge fan, but my husband enjoyed it. Next time we make this pie, I would probably use a thicker beer, like a stout or something with notes of chocolate. We used a lighter ale and the flavor clashed a bit (I thought).
Beer and Pretzel Chocolate Pie
To make the pretzel crust:
- 1 cup crushed pretzels
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
Blend these three ingredients together and press into 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To make the pie filling:
- One 3-1/4 oz package cook and serve chocolate pie filling/pudding mix
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup beer
- Whipped topping (if desired, for serving)
Combine pudding mix, evaporated milk, and beer in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture comes to rolling boil.
Remove from heat. Stir occasionally 5-10 minutes.
Pour into prepared pretzel crust and cool in refrigerator until chilled.
Top with whipped topping.