Traditionally, in our family, Thanksgiving dinner always includes pumpkin pie (see Grandma’s recipe). However, this year I decided to change it up a bit by serving pumpkin mousse parfait, that still have the familiar pumpkin pie flavors. They require some assembly but it can be done a day before needed — a huge advantage in reducing stress on dinner day!
These pumpkin mousse parfaits look and taste delicious, and are a light, decadent conclusion to a festive meal.
One recipe makes enough for a big dinner party but it can be halved if you are serving fewer people.
Pumpkin Mousse Parfait
- 1 envelope (1/4-oz) unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 2 extra-large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cup cold heavy (or whipping) cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Sweetened Whipped Cream
- 1 cup cold heavy (or whipping) cream
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups chopped ginger snap cookies
- 3 Tablespoons very thinly sliced dry crystallized ginger
Pots and Utensils
- Small heatproof metal bowl
- 2 large mixing bowls
- Mixer with whisk attachment
- 2 quart saucepan
- Rolling pin
- 12 Parfait glasses
- Parchment or wax paper
- Plastic wrap
Prepare Pumpkin Mousse
- Pour the rum into the small metal bowl.
- Sprinkle gelatin on top of the rum.
- Let stand 10 min. to soften the gelatin.
- In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg yolks, orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well combined.
- Add enough water to the 2 quart saucepan to come 1 inch up the side.
- Heat to boiling, then reduce the heat to simmer.
- Set the bowl of gelatin mixture over the simmering water.
- Heat until gelatin dissolves.
- Immediately whisk the hot gelatin mixture into pumpkin mixture.
- In a large clean bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups cream at high speed.*
- Add vanilla and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
- Gently fold cream into pumpkin mixture.
Prepare Sweetened Cream
- Beat 1 cup whipping cream on high speed until it begins to thicken.*
- Add 1 Tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Continue to beat until medium peaks form. Do not over beat.
Make The "Crust"
- Roll the snaps between sheets of wax paper with a rolling pin.
Assemble The Parfaits
- Divide the pumpkin mixture in half. Spoon one half of the mixture into 12 small parfait glasses.
- Add the crushed cookies to each of the glasses.
- Divide the whipping cream in half. Top each glass with one half of the cream.
- Add the remaining pumpkin mixture to the glasses.
- Dollop remaining whipped cream on top.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight,
- Garnish parfaits with crystallized ginger slices.
*Be sure that the bowl and whisk are clean before you start beating to make certain the cream will thicken.