Friday, October 24, 2008

Pumpkin Shortcakes with Apple Compote and Vanilla Honey Ice Cream

Does this dessert scream fall, or what? While looking up recipes for my Halloween gathering, I stumbled upon these shortcakes and just had to make them. I made a few adjustments because I found this apple at the farmers market that I completely fell in love with so I decided to use it in the compote. I (conveniently) forgot the name of the apple, but any good baking apple will do. I also have a plethora of vanilla beans from my impulse buy last month so I thought I would throw a little bit of that in the mix. I'm not huge on whipped cream so I served the shortcake with a little vanilla honey ice cream (save the honeybees!). This was easy and fairly quick and so good. The ice cream was especially refreshing with the hot windy weather we have been experiencing and I added a little cinnamon to the sugar crust on top of the shortcakes which was just divine (did I just say "divine"?). I ate this as my dinner a.) because I could, and b.) because it's 98 freaking degrees and I wanted ice cream for dinner. Now, I need to ask you all for some help. I am having a small gathering of people before our Halloween debauchery and I am a little stumped for recipes. I'm looking for something easy, preferably finger food, and savory as I already have two sweet recipes planned. Send any and all suggestions my way!

I'm submitting this recipe to Cookthink's Root Source Challenge - Pumpkin.

Pumpkin Shortcakes with Apple Compote and Vanilla Honey Ice Cream

Pumpkin Shortcakes
(Adapted from Cooking Light)

1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/4 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon granulated sugar mixed with a dash of cinnamon

Apple Compote

1/2 cup water
1 inch section of vanilla bean, split in half
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt
1 apple, peeled cored, and cubed

To make the shortcakes:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
To prepare shortcakes, spoon pumpkin onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels; spread to 1/2-inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand 10 minutes. Scrape into a medium bowl using a rubber spatula. Add milk and 1/4 cup water, stirring to combine.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until butter pieces are pea-sized. Add pumpkin mixture; stir just until moist. Drop dough by level 1/4 cup measures 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Flatten dough to 1/2-inch thickness using lightly floured hands. Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar mixed with a dash or two of cinnamon. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.

To make the compote:

In a small saucepan, combine the water, agave nectar, cinnamon, vanilla bean and seeds, salt and bring to a boil. Boil until the mixture thickens slightly and then add the apples. Bring the mixture back to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the mixture has thickened and the apples are tender, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

To assemble the shortcakes:

Split each cake in half with a serrated knife. Spoon a scoop of ice cream over the bottom half of the shortcake, top the ice cream with a spoonful of compote and top with the top half of the shortcake.

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Diana said...

What a clever recipe! I love that you used honey vanilla ice cream --it's one of my favorite kinds. I am drooling over the looks of this one! Strawberry shortcakes, what? Strawberry shortcakes, who?

As far as your party -- what about doing a hot sandwich of sorts? At my family's Christmas parties, we always make a briskit, slice it on a platter, and serve it next to warm rolls and barbeque sauce. People love it! Another idea for something savory -- cheese fondue with sliced apples, pear, bread, etc. I also have a fabulous recipe for a mayo-less waldorf salad that is great for fall, but it would require utensils to eat. Let me know if you want the recipe for the briskit or the salad.

vanillasugarblog said...

Very creative! I need to make more pumpkin creations before the season is over.
I bet these shortcakes are even better the next day plain along with a hot latte. Right? Ohhh sounds so good. Have a good weekend sweetie!

Esi said...

Diana - that would be great if you could send me the salad recipe, I may not do it for the party, but maybe for something else. I wish I had a fondue pot! I was thinking that could be good too.

Dawn - thanks! I have a whole bunch of shortcakes in the freezer ready to go with coffee at a moment's notice.

Prudy said...

That is one fantastic idea. A lovely springtime dessert made fallish! I tried to post a comment on your potpie yesterday, but alas. It looks wonderful and I'm only sorry that it wasn't your favorite!

test it comm said...

Pumpkin short cake sounds great! Add some apples and ice cream and you have a nice fall dessert.

Heather said...

ohh this looks delicious! i absolutely have to try the shortcakes! i love the vanilla honey ice cream, too. some of my favorite flavors! and how did i miss your vegetable pot pie! it's beautiful!

as far as your party - i make a really good scalloped tomato and eggplant with pine nuts and goat cheese dish that's perfect for dipping. it's nice on a fall day - i think it's around my april posts. there's also fondue - not exactly walking around food, but i generally do it at all my parties and people love it. it's a good conversation starter one. i make a cheddar one and a gruyere one. i'm happy to send recipes if you want.

Erica said...

These are gorgeous lady! I wish I had seen these before I made my decision on my pumpkin recipe for the weekend.

Paula said...

Oh man, it's 98 degrees there! I'm flat out envious. I'm sitting here all bundled up as I'm typing this. Your shortcakes are terrific, as is that ice cream. I love the photo with the vanilla beans.

Regarding your party, check out Noble Pig's site at Last week, she posted this dish called Devils On Horseback which is this amazing shrimp dish.

Unknown said...

this is awesome :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

I am drooling - drooling! That looks and sounds just amazing!

I've never even been to a Halloween party (we don't really do Halloween in Australia) so my only thought on food for your party is that anything hot & cheesy is usually a success.

The Blonde Duck said...

Those look amazing. You come up with the coolest things.

Excuse me, I need to cook these.

Dee said...

Everything looks fabulous, and I'm definitely going to check out the vanilla honey ice cream now. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

in case it's not too late, some good savory ideas for halloween - meatballs (of whatever flavoring/variety you enjoy) served with toothpicks, cheeses, toasted nuts/pumpkin seeds, mini kabobs - grilled veggies, etc. Hope some of these are useful! Have a good time!

-the ice cream betches

Esi said...

Thanks ice cream beteches :) I have a couple of things planned and pumpkin seeds are one of em!

Amanda said...

I've included this in my round up!