Chanterelle's pastry chef, Kate Zuckerman, has created many exquisite treats in her dessert cookbook, The Sweet Life, including this Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.
Two 9-inch pies
Everyone likes the flavor of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but I prefer the texture of this chiffon pie in a cookie crumb crust as opposed to the traditional heavy, eggy pumpkin custard pie with a plain crust, often underbaked and gluey.
The pumpkin mousse in this pie is light, creamy, spicy, full of pumpkin flavor. It's lightness is particularly appealing after a big, heavy Thanksgiving meal. I make this one every year, along with an apple pie cooked with figs and vanilla, the same flavors as the Roasted Apples from the book.
I've included a recipe for delicious gingersnap cookies if you want to go whole hog and make your own cookies for the crumb crust, but feel free to buy any crunchy cookie—chocolate or vanilla wafers, ginger cookies, pecan sandies, or graham crackers, as examples—and use instead of making the gingersnaps.
For the crumb crust
Make the crumb crust
Spray or butter two nine inch pie pans. Grind the cookies in a food processor as finely as possible. Toss the crumbs with the melted butter and press them into the greased pie pans. (If you are making only one pie crust, you need 1-3/4 cup crumbs combined with 4 tablespoons melted butter.) Bake the crusts in a 350 degree oven for 18 minutes. Allow the crusts to cool.
For the pumpkin mousse filling
Soak the gelatin
In a small bowl dissolve the powdered gelatin in 1/3 cup of cold water.
Make a rum spiced sabayon mousse base
Place a pot of water (1-inch deep) on the stove over medium-high heat. Whisk yolks with maple syrup in a medium stainless steel bowl that will fit over the boiling water, functioning as a double boiler. Whisk in rum, salt and spices and place the bowl over the double boiler. Whisk briskly for about five to ten minutes until the mixture has thickened, tripled in volume and holds the lines of the whisk for 10 seconds. Remove bowl from heat.
Dissolve the gelatin and add the pumpkin puree
Add the moistened gelatin and whisk until the gelatin melts into the mousse base. Whisk in the pumpkin puree.
Whip the cream and the egg whites
Whip 1-1/2 cups of cream until it has soft peaks. Set it aside. In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, begin whipping the egg whites on a medium high speed until the whites have become frothed and are no longer liquid. Add the cream of tartar. Whip for another minute and then begin adding the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. After each addition of sugar, whip on this same medium high speed for one to one and a half minutes. After you have added all the sugar, whip until the egg whites are shiny, smooth, voluminous and holds firm but not dry and stiff peaks.
Incorporate the cream and egg whites into the mousse base
Scrape the lightly whipped cream over the spiced egg yolk and pumpkin sabayon. Fold these two mixtures together with a spatula or bowl scraper. Make sure you place your spatula in the center of the bowl, scrape the bottom and bring the bottom over the top. Rotate the bowl 45 degrees and repeat this motion. Continue folding mixture together until all the cream is incorporated. Repeat this process with the whipped egg whites. Fold the egg whites into the mousse until it is completely incorporated.
Finish the pies
Divide the finished mousse evenly between the two crumb crusts. Refrigerate and allow the mousse to set. Before serving the pies, whip two cups of cream. Spread the cream over the two pies with a spatula. Garnish the pies with a tablespoon of crushed cookie crumbs, some sifted cinnamon, some shaved chocolate or some cocoa powder.
The Sweet Life
Desserts from Chanterelle
by Kate Zuckerman
Hardcover; 224 pages; $35.00
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created February 2007
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