Photo by Jesse Hendrix-Inman
pumpkin mousse parfait
The humble pumpkin is capable of so much more than adorning a doorstep or being relegated to pie filling. Trade in the predictable pie in favor of this scrumptious dessert from Brigitte Nguyen of The Kentucky Proud Kitchen. Want another use for the autumn fruit (yes, the pumpkin is, botanically speaking, a fruit)? Try Brigitte’s elegant Pumpkin Risotto recipe!
2 cups milk
1⁄2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
2 tablespoons butter
11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups pumpkin puree
1⁄4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
11⁄4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice or 3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch each of allspice, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon
2 cups gingersnap cookie pieces or crumbs
Sweetened whipped cream
2 cups cold heavy cream
1⁄4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon, optional
1. To make the pumpkin mousse, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat in a saucepan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks and egg. Once the milk simmers, temper it into the egg mixture by slowly streaming in the hot milk and whisking continuously.
3. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring it back to a simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk. When it thickens, remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Allow to cool.
4. Once mixture is cool, stir in the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, spices, grated ginger, vanilla, bourbon and salt.
5. For the sweetened whipped cream, whip together the heavy cream, powdered sugar and bourbon until peaks form.
6. To assemble, layer the gingersnap crumbs, pumpkin mousse and sweetened whipped cream in a trifle dish or individual parfait glasses. Garnish with additional gingersnap cookies or caramel corn, if desired.