Monday, December 6, 2010

Cranberry-Ginger Sorbet with Pumpkin Shortbread

I turned on our local NPR station around Thanksgiving time and heard them discussing food, and not just food, Thanksgiving recipes with a twist. Once I heard the title of the dessert I knew I wanted to try it, and I waited 15 minutes to hear how to find the recipe. It was a HUGE hit. I'll totally make this again. --Mark


For Cranberry-Ginger Sorbet
4 cups fresh cranberries (organic preferred)
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tgrated fresh ginger (from about a 2-inch piece, peeled)
Powdered ginger, to season

For Pumpkin Shortbread
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
Generous 1/3 cup pure pumpkin (canned) (organic preferred)
1 tablespoon raw sugar, to garnish

For the Orange Syrup
1 cup orange marmalade
2 T blue agave syrup
1/2 cup orange juice
1 T light brown sugar

For the Candied Orange Garnish
Orange, sectioned
raw sugar

For the Pomegranate Syrup
2 cups pomegranate juice


Prepare the Sorbet
In a large saucepan combine the cranberries, water, sugar, and the ginger. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil stirring occasionally to melt the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the cranberries are popping and very soft (optional: you can partially cover the saucepan as the berries simmer to prevent splattering cranberry juice everywhere). Set aside to cool about 15 minutes.

Transfer the cranberry mixture to a blender (you may need to work in batches) and puree until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove any remaining pulp. Cover the mixture and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight, until the mixture is very cold.

Freeze the sorbet. Taste the cranberry ginger mixture. Adjust the flavor by adding superfine sugar or powdered ginger spice.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a clean container and freeze covered until hard, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove to the refrigerator to soften a bit about 30 minutes before serving.

* * * * *

Prepare the Shortbread
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Spray a fluted 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with a nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium size mixing bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the butter and powdered sugar; mix on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add in the pumpkin and combine mixing for about 1 minute more. Remove the bowl from the stand and add in the flour mixture and combine just until incorporated. The few strokes the lighter and flakier your shortbread.

Turn the dough out into the prepared pan. Using a sheet of waxed paper gently spread the mixture around the pan, smoothing the top.

Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the shortbread is firm and golden brown around the edges. 10 minutes before the end of the baking cycle sprinkle the raw sugar around the top of the shortbread.

Remove the shortbread from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove the sides of the tart pan, and using a long, sharp knife, cut the tart into 16 wedges.

* * * * *

Prepare Orange Syrup and Candied Orange Garnish
Place 1 cup of orange marmalade into a small sauce pan and set over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons blue agave syrup, ½ cup orange juice and 1 tablespoon light brown sugar. Cook until the mixture is reduced to ¼ cup. Strain the mixture into a small container. Reserve the orange pieces in another bowl. Toss the orange pieces with raw sugar and spread on a piece of wax paper to dry. Store with additional raw sugar in an air tight container.

* * * * *

Prepare Pomegranate Syrup
Place about 2 cups of pomegranate juice in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to about ¼ to 1/8 cup, and thick. Transfer to a small squeeze bottle. Reserve.

* * * * *

To Serve
On a chilled serving plate drizzle a bit of the orange syrup in a decorative pattern. Add drops of the pomegranate syrup. Place on scoop of the cranberry ginger sorbet on the plate and garnish with some of the candied orange garnish. Set one piece of the pumpkin shortbread alongside the sorbet. Serve immediately.


This is worth all the work. Everything can be prepared a day ahead of time as well.

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