Sunday, 21 October 2012

Pumpkin Mousse Tart

I am thankful for the fact that I get to make desserts.
I was extra thankful this year, because I not only got to have one thanksgiving dinner... but TWO! which also meant I got to make not one dessert... but TWO!
So much to be thankful for.
I shall post the other recipe in the near future, but for now I have a spiffed up variation on the classic dessert of pumpkin pie. Don't get me wrong, pumpkin pie is the cat's pajamas but I am always looking for unique and creative spins on the classics. So for my family dinner this year, I made a Pumpkin Mousse Tart!

This is it before it get suited up with whipped cream... looking very surface-of-strange-planet like. Hence, we cover it with whipped cream. But that is not the only reason... Thanksgiving without whipped cream is like the Mac without the Cheese.

Some notes: The crust is a chocolate spice graham cracker crust and is entirely addictive, and you may find yourself going back for seconds just because you want more crust. This was proven by my cousin and I.
This is a great dessert choice for a big family meal because the mousse part needs to chill for at least 4 hours. This way you can make it way ahead of time! Less stress.
Pumpkin Mousse Tart
Recipe from good old Martha

Chocolate Spice Graham Craker Crust:
  • 9 ounces graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
Place everything except the butter in a food processor and pulse until everything is finely ground. Stir the crumb mixture in a bowl with the melted butter until combined. Press into a 9" spring-form pan. (If I had a tart pan with a removable bottom, I would have used that instead! So feel free to do so if you do. And if you are wondering what to get me for my birthday coming up... well now you know.) Bake at 325 until set, 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely, do not remove from pan.

Now, time to prepare the Pumpkin Mousse!
You'll need:

  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 tbsp unflavoured powdered gelatin
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 eggs (preferably room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
In a small microwaveable bowl, pour in the brandy and 2 tbsp water, sprinkle over the gelatin and let stand for ten minutes or so to soften.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on medium-low speed until nice and fluffy, 2 minutes or so. Meanwhile, keeping your mixer going, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup water and cook stirring occasionally over medium high heat until it reaches 245F. (Use a candy thermometer). Turn your mixer to high speed and immediately  (but carefully!) pour in the hot syrup down the side of the bowl in a thin, steady stream. (This is to avoid splashing, and also to incorporate the hot syrup with the eggs without cooking them too fast.) Continue to beat on high speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture increases in volume and turns a pale yellow colour. Meanwhile, put the bowl with the gelatin in the microwave and heat for 10-15 seconds until gelatin is dissolved and melted.
Turn mixer to low and add gelatin mixture. Add the pumpkin puree, spices salt and sour cream and stir to combine.
Pour the mousse mixture into your cooled crust, and leave it to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or even up to overnight. 

Finishing Touches!
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp skim milk powder (optional, but it's there to keep your whipped cream peaks perfect for hours... works like a charm!)
Whisk together all ingredients until you get stiff peaks. Transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Run a knife or a offset spatula around the outside of your tart to release it from the spring-form pan, remove the sides of the pan and set your tart on a pretty platter or stand. Get fancy and pipe the cream however you like to cover the top of the tart. I piped little dollops all over, starting in the center and spiraling outwards, but get creative and do what you wish!

An awesome end to an awesome meal.
I <3 Thanksgiving.

XO Lari

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