Pumpkin Pancakes with Candied Pecans and Spiced Cream Cheese

Pumpkin Pancakes with Candied Pecans and Spiced Cream Cheese
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About This Recipe

As a Napa Valley local, I often find myself inspired by the rich culinary and wine heritage that surrounds me. One day, I was savoring the beauty of the fall season, and I couldn't help but be drawn to the warm, inviting flavors that celebrate this time of year. That's when I decided to create a delicious and heartwarming recipe: Pumpkin Pancakes with Candied Pecans and Spiced Cream Cheese.

These pancakes are a delightful way to begin a cozy autumn day, perfect for enjoying with friends and family. The pumpkin puree and spices add a depth of flavor that is both comforting and satisfying, while the candied pecans and spiced cream cheese elevate the dish into something truly special. When it comes to side dishes, I suggest serving the pancakes with crispy bacon, a fresh fruit salad, or even a warm cup of apple cider to complement the flavors.

For dessert, you might consider preparing a pumpkin pie, a pecan tart, or a spiced apple cake to round out the meal and indulge in the best of the season. And, of course, no Napa Valley-inspired meal would be complete without a thoughtfully chosen wine pairing. I recommend trying a sparkling wine, like a Schramsberg Brut Rosé or a Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée, to contrast the rich flavors of the pancakes with a refreshing, effervescent touch. Alternatively, a late harvest Viognier or Riesling can offer a sweet complement that echoes the dessert-like qualities of the dish.

In our beautiful wine country, we are fortunate to have access to an abundance of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. You can find many of the items needed for this recipe at the Napa Farmers Market or by visiting nearby farms, like the Long Meadow Ranch or the Hudson Ranch and Vineyards. These local treasures showcase the best of what our region has to offer, and I always appreciate the opportunity to support our community.

When it comes to wineries, there are countless options in Napa Valley and Sonoma County to suit every taste. For a diverse experience, consider visiting the historic Inglenook Winery, the family-owned and operated Frogs Leap Winery, or the picturesque Scribe Winery in Sonoma. Each of these destinations offers a unique perspective on the art of winemaking, and their wines are sure to impress even the most discerning palates.

As the leaves change color and the air becomes crisp, I am always reminded of the magic of our Napa Valley home. The Pumpkin Pancakes with Candied Pecans and Spiced Cream Cheese recipe is a true celebration of this enchanting time of year, and I hope it brings warmth and joy to your kitchen as well. So gather your loved ones, pour a glass of your favorite wine, and indulge in the flavors of the season. Happy cooking, and cheers to your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree is the star of these delectable pancakes, offering a velvety texture and a warm, autumnal flavor that's hard to resist. Harvested in the fall, pumpkins are not just iconic decorations for Halloween but also a nutrient-rich vegetable. Packed with vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A, pumpkin puree is also an excellent source of fiber, making it as nutritious as it is delicious. Its natural sweetness complements savory dishes and baked goods alike, rendering it a versatile ingredient for a range of culinary delights.

How to Make the Perfect Pumpkin Puree from Scratch

If you want to elevate your pumpkin pancakes, consider making your own homemade pumpkin puree. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose the Right Pumpkin: For cooking, always opt for sugar or pie pumpkins which are smaller and sweeter than their decorative counterparts.
  2. Preparation: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Slice the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and strings.
  3. Roast: Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the flesh is soft.
  4. Puree: Once cooled, scoop out the flesh and blend in a food processor until smooth.
  5. Storage: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for longer storage.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use a different type of flour for this recipe? Absolutely! For a gluten-free version, you can use almond flour or a gluten-free all-purpose mix. Bear in mind, the texture might differ slightly from the original recipe.
  2. Is there an alternative to buttermilk? If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of milk. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, and it's ready to use.
  3. How long can I store leftover pancakes? Stored in an airtight container, the pancakes will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can also freeze them for up to 2 months.
  4. What if I have a nut allergy? If you're allergic to pecans, simply omit them from the recipe or consider a nut-free alternative like candied pumpkin seeds or a sprinkle of granola for some crunch.
  5. Can I use store-bought spiced cream cheese? Certainly! While homemade spiced cream cheese adds a personal touch, store-bought versions can save time and are equally delicious.

Tips for Success

  1. Consistency Matters: The batter should be thick but pourable. If it's too runny, add a bit more flour; if too thick, a splash of milk should do the trick.
  2. Moderate Heat: Ensure your skillet or griddle is at medium heat. Too high, and your pancakes might burn on the outside while remaining raw on the inside. Too low, and they won't get that desirable golden-brown finish.
  3. Serve Warm: To enhance the dining experience, warm your plates in the oven on the lowest setting. Serving your pancakes on warm plates ensures they remain hot while eating.

By adhering to these guidelines and paying homage to the hero ingredient, pumpkin puree, your Pumpkin Pancakes with Candied Pecans and Spiced Cream Cheese will surely be a hit, capturing the very essence of a Napa Valley autumn morning.

Recipe Overview

Recipe:
Pumpkin Pancakes with Candied Pecans and Spiced Cream Cheese
Author:
Lily Anderson
Season:
Fall
Yield:
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
635
Prep Time:
PT20M
Cook Time:
PT20M
Total Time:
PT40M

Ingredients List

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Candied Pecans:

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Spiced Cream Cheese:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, egg, brown sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  2. Preheat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto the skillet and cook until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook until golden brown on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  3. To make the candied pecans, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and cook, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes until the pecans are coated and caramelized. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. For the spiced cream cheese, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, spices, milk, and vanilla extract together in a bowl until smooth and creamy.
  5. To serve, stack the pancakes on a plate, top with a dollop of spiced cream cheese, and sprinkle with candied pecans.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

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