Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pumpkin Mousse pie

Besides the turkey, the stuffing, the yams and the green beans nothing says Thanksgiving like pumpkin pie and nothing says pumpkin pie like pumpkin mousse pie.  I've been making pumpkin mousse since I started baking in the late 70's.  And I've been making pumpkin pie for a long time before that, but at one point some genius got the awesome idea to put them together.  And while they are both more than respectable desserts on their own, together they form a symphony in your mouth; the rest is Thanksgiving history.

Be prepared for a lot of oohs and aahs and can-I-have-a-second-pieces.  Even people who say they don't like pumpkin pie looove this pie.  It's not a humble pie, it's more a fancy dessert on the level of creme brulee or chocolate mousse cake.  The good news is it's not at all difficult to make.  I'd say the only tricky part is the gelatin, if you're not familiar with working with it.  I used powdered gelatin but there's also gelatin sheets which are easier to work with, if you can find them. 
It's a good idea to start with the mousse recipe as it takes a good hour to set up.  And make sure the pie is totally cool before you pipe on the mousse otherwise that would not be totally cool.  This recipe calls for pumpkin spice which is just a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. 

pumpkin mousse pie

1 & 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoon gelatin
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 & 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream

1 & 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

pie filling:
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
2 tablespoons molasses
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

For the mousse:  In a large bowl whisk pumpkin, sugar, vanilla extract and pumpkin spice.  In a small pan or heat proof shallow dish sprinkle gelatin over water.  Heat mixture over a low flame until completely dissolved (it's best to just leave it alone and let it melt).  Add gelatin mixture to pumpkin mixture and whisk well, making sure the gelatin is completely incorporated.

In a stand mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip heavy cream until stiff.  Fold gently but completely into pumpkin mixture.  Cover and chill for at least one hour.
For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse to mix.  Add melted butter and pulse until mixture loosely holds together.

Transfer to a 10 inch pie dish.  Evenly pat into bottom and sides of pie dish.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool on a wire rack while you make the pie filling. 

For the filling: In a large bowl whisk together pumpkin, eggs, sugar, pumpkin spice and molasses.  Add heavy cream and whisk to combine.  Pour into prepared pie crust.  Put the pie on a cookie sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes or until pie is set.  Transfer baked pie to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before refrigerating until completely chilled.  Pipe mousse on top of cooled pie.  Serves 8 to 10.  

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