Pumpkin Mousse Recipe

Whip up this light-as-air holiday dessert with fresh fall flavor.

Pumpkin Mousse

Pumpkin Mousse

Pumpkin mousse is an effortlessly elegant holiday dessert.

Photo by: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Photo by Mick Telkamp

Pumpkin mousse is an effortlessly elegant holiday dessert.

French for “foam,” mousse has been part of the culinary landscape since the late 1800s. The method of transforming foods into a light, airy foam was originally reserved for vegetables or fish, but by the early 1900s mousse became the dessert of choice when the technique was applied to chocolate (allegedly by artist Toulouse-Lautrec). Mousse is now most commonly associated with dessert. Although chocolate remains the undisputed champion, a wide variety of flavors may be combined with whipped egg whites or cream to create richly flavored desserts that contradict their light-as-air texture. As the holidays approach, the bright flavor and silky goodness of fresh pumpkin is hard to beat, especially when whipped into a luxurious mousse.

The taste is pure pumpkin pie, but with the light texture and simple elegance of mousse. Our recipe combines pumpkin pie spices with pumpkin puree and egg yolks with freshly whipped cream to bring seasonal style to the classic dessert.

Enjoy make-ahead convenience with same-day freshness by preparing the custard base a few days in advance. When it’s time for dessert, just whip cream in a stand mixer and fold into the velvety pumpkin custard. The fresh flavor and sophisticated presentation of pumpkin mousse add effortless elegance to holiday dining with a new spin on familiar flavors.

Pumpkin Mousse

Servings: About 10

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

Whisk together 3 egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, pumpkin puree, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to 175 degrees, stirring frequently.

Very slowly whisk heated blend into egg yolks to temper.

Return to saucepan and return to 175 degrees.

Stir in vanilla and transfer to a bowl to refrigerate at least 2 hours to chill.

In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk 2 cups heavy cream until soft peaks form.

Fold whipped cream into pumpkin blend.

Mix chopped pecans and graham cracker crumbs together.

Spoon mousse into individual serving dishes and garnish with graham cracker/pecan mix.

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