New Traditions

Pumpkin Mousse Pie introduces a new, lighter approach to traditional flavors for the holidays.

Just before going live for my latest appearance on the FOX10 Morning Show, my friend and correspondent Tom Fergus shed light on his preferred method of consumption, for traditional pumpkin pie. It was after all, National Pumpkin Day and he had just arrived at my restaurant, Sweetest Season Artisan Eatery for a demonstration of my Pumpkin Mousse Pie recipe.

"Whipped cream!" he began. "So much whipped cream on top that you'd struggle to find the pie!" I laughed, and greatly anticipated the moment that he would get to enjoy the finished pie. This I knew, would be a crowd-pleaser.

Not unlike Tom, I assume that many Americans serve up their favorite holiday pie in such a way. I, on the other hand, tend to skip the confection all together, as it seems a bit too heavy and dense for my after-feast follow-up.

As such, my lighter, airy version of the traditional recipe provides an alternative to the weight and heaviness, as its silky texture may leave you with more room for seconds! But worry not, I don't skimp on the expected earthy pumpkin and warm spice flavor that leaves you satisfied every Thanksgiving.

The following recipe has been adapted from the version we craft and sell at the restaurant, which excludes our recipes for: ginger snaps, vanilla bean whipped cream, salted caramel sauce, and house-blended spices.

Pumpkin Mousse Pie

2c. high quality ginger snaps, ground into crumbs

4 TBSP butter, melted

8oz cream cheese, softened

1 c. confectioners sugar

1 c. pure pumpkin puree

1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 c. whipped cream, very lightly sweetened

1/4 c. toasted pecans (optional)

1/4 c. salted caramel sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Using a fork, blend ginger snap crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes until firm and slightly darkened. Cool completely at room temperature. Set aside.

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, blend together the softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Add the pumpkin puree and spices. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and blend until smooth.

Spoon approximately 3/4 c of pumpkin filling into the bottom of the cooled pie shell, spread along the bottom to create the first level of filling. Fold 1 1/2 cup of whipped cream into the remainder of the pumpkin filling. Spoon the entire mixture over the first layer of filling, and smooth. Top with remaining whipped cream, and completely cover the layer below. I like to peak the filling in the center as I roughly smooth the whipped cream with the back of a spoon toward the edges of the pie plate.

Finish with toasted pecans and drizzle with salted caramel sauce.

Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. This recipe can be made up to three days in advance.

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