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Pumpkin Mousse

Mousse is like whipped, airy pudding, and pudding is awesome. Typically with pudding/mousse there is egg tempering (or raw egg whites) which makes this pumpkin mousse extra fab – it’s egg-free!

Seriously, you are like twenty minutes away from beautiful, silky, seasonal pumpkin mousse. It’s an elegant make-ahead dessert that is sure to impress but considering it’s so easy to make, the secret can stay between us. Last night I got my hair cut and my stylist Jen was telling me about the 6 layer rainbow cake she made for her daughter’s birthday. She said it took all day and almost toppled over  – never again will she make a 6 layer rainbow cake or anything like it.

I think in the age of Pinterest it’s easy to get carried away with the sheer volume of possibilities. I know when I look at the food section I feel wholly inadequate, thinking, “now why didn’t I think of that?”. I try to stay focused on this fact – I want food that is fairly easy to make, doesn’t take too much time, and tastes great. Is that too much to ask? This mousse is that sort of dessert. Yes we could garnish this with crumbled homemade gingerbread cookies or bourbon whipped cream, but sometimes simple is best. The flavor is clean and pure – the pumpkin shines through perfectly.

For pumpkin mousse:

1 (1/4-ounces) packet unflavored gelatin

1/4 c. cold water

15 oz. pure pumpkin

1/2 c. packed light brown sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. salt

1 c. chilled heavy cream

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

9. To make mousse, sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small saucepan and let soften 1 minute. Bring to a simmer, stirring until gelatin has dissolved (about 1 minute).

10. Whisk together gelatin mixture, pumpkin, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a large bowl until combined well. When you add the gelatin to the pumpkin, add it in a thin stream while whisking constantly. When gelatin gets cool it hardens quickly, but by whisking you will eliminate this threat. 


11. Beat cream with vanilla (in separate bowl) until it holds soft peaks.


12. Stir about a third of the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture with a spoon until smoothly combined.

13. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold gently with a rubber spatula. Don’t over mix – you want to keep this light and airy.


14. Transfer to serving bowls and refrigerate, covered, for up to two days. Mixture may be kept in one large airtight container and divided later.