Though these past few years have turned me in to a more adventurous foodie, there’s one meal you just cannot touch – Thanksgiving. You just can’t improve on a classic.
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite foodie holiday, made even better by the fact that I don’t have to cook for it. Instead, my mother does all the work and I just have to show up with something sweet in tow. Now, this may seem like a chump job. Dessert is low stakes on a day when the meal is such a star of the show. But I just see it as a challenge.
I’m a fan of pumpkin pie. (Like I said, I love the classics on this day.) But at the end of a big dinner, a custard-y pie is sometimes just a little too heavy. When I see a dessert menu that includes mousse ANYthing – I’m there. So when I stumbled upon a Pumpkin pie that was basically a pumpkin mousse I was all over it.
I adapted this from the November issue of Food Network Magazine and the recipe is pretty easy to follow. The other part of this is while I throw down pretty hard in the kitchen, when it comes to baking I am a sad, sad case of many failures. My patience is low! I chose to take it easy on myself and just grab a ready-made chocolate pie crust from the store, and the rest was just mixing and heating on the stove-top – MUCH more my speed. (…Although I did realize I left out the eggs RIGHT as I was ready to start sautéing, pobody’s nerfect!)
The day I made this, I chilled in the fridge to set for the minimum required three hours and it seemed to have set just fine. However, when I went for a second piece the next day, I found everything had settled event better. So if you can, this is one to whip up the day before.
Coming armed with this bad-boy to any of your holiday happenings will no doubt make you the Pumpkin King (or Queen).
- For the crust:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pie plate
- 24 chocolate wafer cookies (about 5 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- For the filling:
- 1 1/4-ounce packet unflavored gelatin
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups cold heavy cream
- Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-inch pie plate. Pulse the chocolate wafers, sugar and orange zest in a food processor until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the side of the prepared plate. Bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Combine the chocolate and heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. Pour into the cooled crust and spread over the bottom and up the side; set aside until the chocolate sets, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the filling: Sprinkle the gelatin over 3 tablespoons water in a large bowl; let sit 5 minutes. Combine the milk, 2/3 cup sugar, the egg yolks, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the mixture bubbles, 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully whisk the milk mixture into the gelatin mixture until combined. Let sit at room temperature, stirring frequently, until cool but not set, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Beat 3/4 cup heavy cream in a bowl with a mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled pumpkin mixture, then pour into the prepared crust. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Beat the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of the pie.