By Jason Shriner, The Aubergine Chef
Whenever someone finds out I’m a baker around the holiday season they always ask me about my favorite dessert to make for my family. It’s a great question. It’s like asking a doctor they go when seeking medical attention.
Cool, fluffy, and creamy aren’t qualities normally associated with autumn pies. While it may not be traditional my pumpkin mousse pie may become your family’s new favorite dessert the same way it worked its way into the hearts of my family.
What’s great about this recipe is that it’s quick and easy to make. You can buy a pre made crumb crust from the grocery store, but making your own is very easy to do and always tastes better. When you make it yourself it comes out a little more crisp. You can also customize the flavor by using your favorite cookies. I use vanilla wafers but a friend of mine made hers with biscoffs.
The filling is the easiest part. Once you melt the gelatin (used for stabilizing and giving a nice bite to the filling) you simply whisk all the ingredients together. Fold in some homemade whipped cream to make it light and airy. Fill your crust and chill for a couple hours then top with more whipped cream.
Another reason to love this recipe is that it doubles and triples beautifully while remaining just as easy. Keep in mind the original recipe makes about 1 ½ pies, so as you double have extra crusts ready just in case. The awkward yield is preferred to being stuck with half a can of sweetened condensed milk or pumpkin puree. You can always pour extra mousse in wine goblets and enjoy a single serving.
Jason Shriner owns the baking & pastry blog The Aubergine Chef, which contains free videos and recipes. He also teaches baking classes at the Manassas Park Community Center. You can visit his blog at www.TheAubergineChef.com.
Pumpkin Mousse Pie
The recipe makes a little bit more than one pie exactly so have a couple of glasses handy to fill, or make two pies with slightly less filling each. If you make two pies, double the topping so you have enough to top both pies.
6 ounces vanilla wafer crumbs (about half a box)
2 ounces melted butter, cooled
½ egg white
¼ ounce granulated gelatin
1 ¾ cups heavy cream
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (about 14 ounces) pumpkin puree
About 2 teaspoons Pumpkin pie spice (season to taste)
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ tablespoons powdered sugar,
Process cookies in a food processor to turn them into fine crumbs.
Place the crumbs in the bowl with half the butter and the egg white and mix well getting all the crumbs moistened. They should be damp and when squeezed should form a ball that holds its shape. They should not be soggy or sticky. If they do not compact together add the remaining butter.
Pour crumbs into a 9” pie plate and working from the middle flatten them against the plate into a thin even layer all the way up the sides.
Bake crust at 375 degrees F for about 5-8 minutes or until crust feels solid to touch (it may stay feel soft but it will harden as it cools). It should not develop much color.
Cool completely before using.
Pour ¾ cup heavy cream in a small pot, then sprinkle the gelatin on top while whisking constantly. Warm pot over a low heat stirring occasionally until gelatin is completely melted. Never boil the mixture as it can break down the gelatin.
Meanwhile, whip the remaining heavy cream until it reaches soft to medium peaks.
Combine the pumpkin puree, spice, and sweetened condensed milk and whisk until no longer streaky.
Pour the warmed gelatin mixture into the pumpkin puree mixture through a fine sieve (to sift out any chunks of gelatin) and whisk until thoroughly mixed.
Using your whisk, stir and fold the whipped cream in three additions. Your filling should be fluffy but still pourable. Make sure to run a spatula along the bottom of the bowl to make sure there are no unmixed parts hiding there.
Pour into the prepare crumb crust and chill in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.
After the filling has set up and no longer jiggles when shook, combine the topping ingredients together and whip to soft to medium peaks.
Top or pipe the whipped cream on top of the filling.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
5 days refrigerated
3 months frozen (crust may be soggy when thawed)