Pumpkin and gingersnap are two quintessential fall ingredients that can make a delicious dessert. These pumpkin parfaits with gingersnap crust are an elegant homemade fall dessert option that are easy to make and full of warm spices. And quick and easy pumpkin pudding made with canned pumpkin, layered with whipped cream and gingersnap crust cookie crumbles is a real treat!
Similar to my pumpkin mousse recipe, these pumpkin parfaits are served in individual dessert dishes making them perfect for a small Fall, Thanksgiving or holiday gathering.
Now I know parfaits may not be the first thing you think of for a pumpkin recipe, I am sure pumpkin pie is where your initial thought goes. But there is only so much pie you can eat, and the gingersnap crust crumbles fill this with warm spices that are reminiscent of your favorite pumpkin pie recipe, and gives a perfect texture.
What is a parfait made of?
A typical american parfait usually has a pudding, custard, mousse or something along those lines texturally, layered with whipped cream and often fruits or granola. For these pumpkin parfaits with gingersnap crust we use an easy pumpkin pudding recipe using canned pumpkin, and crumble up gingersnaps to make a nice gingersnap crust in place of the granola.
The most important consideration when making parfaits is to have a balance of varying textures. Using a gingersnap crust gives the perfect amount of texture in this pumpkin recipe.
Since we are using canned pumpkin for the pumpkin pudding in these parfaits, it is easy enough to put together and requires no oven roasting. Here is what you need:
- Pumpkin puree. Make life easy on yourself and use canned pumpkin to make this pumpkin pudding.
- Your typical mix of pumpkin spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Or you use pumpkin spice, which is most of these already mixed together.
- Heavy cream to make the whipped cream. Layering this with the pudding is what makes them pumpkin parfaits.
- Gingersnaps crushed up to make the layer of gingersnap crust (could thi sbe more easy).
Are gingersnaps difficult to make homemade?
So actually, I don't know. Because, I don't have time for that at the holidays with everything else and all the holiday drinks I am sampling, so I buy them. And I have yet to find someone ask me if these are 'store bought' gingersnaps when I serve this. Mostly they just tell me how delicious the entire pumpkin parfait tastes. These are the ones I buy - hold your breath for the shock - another Traders Joe's special!
Tips for success
- Be sure to whisk the egg/milk mixture and cornstarch/sugar the entire time it is on the stovetop.
- Make sure the pudding is cold when assembling the pumpkin parfaits.
Don't skimp on the gingersnaps in this. They soften to almost a cake-like texture and add such a nice warm spice to this pumpkin parfait.
- stand mixer or hand mixer for the whipping cream
For the pudding
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 6 tablespoon sugar
- 1 ¾ cup milk
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree use canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon alt
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg I use fresh and grate it myself, maybe eight grates
For the whipped cream
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 24 Gingersnap cookies
For the pudding
- Whisk together egg and milk in a bowl. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and slowly pour in the egg and milk into the pan while whisking THE ENTIRE TIME (unless you like scrambled eggs in your pudding). Bring this to a simmer, and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly.
- Add pumpkin and all the spices, salt and vanilla and whisk until totally incorporated.
- Return pan to low heat and cook, while whisking for another maybe three minutes.
- Pull off the heat and pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (this will prevent pudding skin which, trust me, if you don't know what I am tlaking about, consider yourself lucky, cause you don't wanna see it). Put in fridge a few hours at least, until really cold.
- Make your whipped cream in the meantime. I feel like I don't really need to tell you how to whip cream, but in case...
- put your cold heavy cream in a metal bowl or your stand mixer bowl along with your desired amount of powdered sugar and whip with whisk attachment on stand mixer, or an actual whisk or a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
To assemble the parfaits
- Take some of your gingersnaps (I use three at a time) and break up and place in the bottom of each serving glass or bowl. Top the gingersnaps with the pudding and the pudding with some whipped cream. Repeat in this order one more time for each dish. Sprink some gingersnaps on top to be fancy.