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
(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
1 teaspoon granulated sugar mixed with a dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1 inch section of vanilla bean, split in half
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
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.