It is that time – the time I dedicate an entire month to something awesome for Thanksgiving, the greatest holiday we have. Last year, we did side dishes that are the shit (better green bean casserole, roasted squash soup and brussels sprouts with a sherry vinaigrette).
This year we are going with NOT PIES NOVEMBER. A series of simple and delicious dessert to bring to your Thanksgiving feast that are not pies. Don’t get me wrong, the vast majority of my dessert table at Thanksgiving is pies, but I always try to have one or two non pie things…and you should too. Mix it up a little, your family and friends will be pleasantly surprised.
First up…pumpkin mousse that is so simple you’ll think I am lying about how good it is. This pumpkin mousse has like a handful of ingredients and most of them you have right on hand. I found the original recipe here and while it was delicious, I found a few tweaks that made it even better and deeper in flavor.
Roast your pumpkin
No not a whole pumpkin…roast your canned puree! Yes, you can do this and what a difference it makes. I do it all the time for most all pumpkin recipes (pies and breads too).
So to do this – empty the the puree onto a lightly greased baking sheet (or greased aluminum foil). Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Roasting the pumpkin will evaporate the water in the puree and result in a thicker and more concentrated flavor – super awesome.
Spice it up
When I made the mousse recipe as-is I felt it was lacking some spice. It tasted too much of raw pumpkin. So I upped my game and heavily spiced this with cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. While this makes it similar to pumpkin pie, it also warms up flavor of the mousse.
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon of allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- 3 cups heavy cream
Begin by heating the oven to 400 degrees. Take the pumpkin puree and place on a greased baking sheet and spread it out a bit with a spatula. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until puree is firmer and darkened in color.
Meanwhile while the pumpkin is roasting, in a large saucepan heat the sweetened condensed milk and simmer stirring constantly (if you don't keep stirring, the sugars in the milk will burn and stick to the bottom, and I promise you this happens bc I have done a lot of times) for about 10 minutes. The milk will become a little bit golden (like halfway to dulce de leche). Add the roasted pumpkin, salt and the spices and continue to cook while stirring until it begins to bubble up, about five more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool this completely in the fridge until cold.
Whip the heavy cream with a hand or electric mixer until stiff peaks. Take about 1/2 cup of the whipped cream out and save to topping the mousse. Fold the cold pumpkin mixture into the whipped cream and spoon into serving dishes. Top with the extra whipped cream.