I have decided to celebrate the 25 days leading up to Christmas by blogging about a different holiday delight each day for the next 25 days. Over Thanksgiving, I had a number of people ask for tips on easy holiday dishes, so I'm going to label each dish over the next days as either "Piece of Cake" (fairly simple) or "Impressive challenge" (multiple complex steps). I've decided to start these 25 days off with a bang--a sophisticated twist on the classic pumpkin pie that finds its way to so many of our dinner tables around the holidays.
Day 1- Pumpkin White Chocolate Mousse Pie
Difficulty: Impressive Challenge
This pumpkin pie has the airy and custardy texture of mousse and is sweetened with white chocolate. The crust is made from pulverized gingersnap cookies and melted butter, and the hard crunch of the cookie crust provides the perfect balance to the light and airy pumpkin mousse custard.
- FOR THE CRUST
- 6 ounces gingersnap cookies, pulverized
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- FOR THE FILLING
- 1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- 3 1/2 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped (the finer its chopped, the more easily it will melt!)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch of grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Prepare the pie crust. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a food processor, pulse the gingersnap cookies until finely ground; transfer to a bowl. Add the melted butter and use your hands to combine. Press the crust over the bottom and up the side of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until set. Transfer to a rack and cool.
- Prepare the filling. Place 1/3 cup of water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over it and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Place the finely-chopped white chocolate in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar.
- In a small saucepan, simmer 3/4 cup of the heavy cream with the bay leaf, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla for 1 minute. Discard the bay leaf. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle the heavy cream mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk in the gelatin mixture. Immediately pour the hot egg mixture over the white chocolate; let stand for 1 minute, then whisk until all of the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the pumpkin puree and salt until incorporated. Refrigerate the mixture until it is cold, about 1 hour.
- Once the mixture is cold, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form; gently fold into the pumpkin filling until incorporated.Dollop the filling into the baked crust and spread in an even layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.