Pumpkin Mousse Pie

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Pumpkin Mousse Pie

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A delicious change from the traditional custardy pumpkin pie, this is smooth, light, and creamy, with a crisp, spicy crust. For an added treat, drizzle each slice with pure maple syrup before serving. From the cookbook, Baking For Friends, by Kathleen King.


Pumpkin Mousse:

  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • One ¼ -ounce envelope unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1¾ cups milk
  • 1 cup solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Gingersnap Cookie Crust (below), baked and cooled
  • Maple Whipped Cream (below)
  • Pecan halves for garnish

Maple Whipped Cream:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Grade B pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Gingersnap Cookie Crust:
  • 2 cups finely crushed gingersnaps, preferably Tate’s (about one 8 oz package)
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

Recipe Info

  1. To make the mousse: Pour the cider into a ramekin or custard cup. Sprinkle in the gelatin. Set aside to soften the gelatin, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt, being sure that the cornstarch is incorporated into the sugar. Add ¼ cup of cream and whisk until smooth. Add the yolks and whisk again. Add the milk and whisk until mixture is fully blended. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking often and occasionally switching to a heatproof spatula to scrape the corners of the pot, until the mixture is bubbling, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, add the gelatin, and whisk until thoroughly dissolved. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool slightly. 
  3. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pumpkin mixture and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until cool and beginning to set, about 1½ hours. If the mixture is lumpy, strain and press through a wire sieve into another bowl.
  4. In a small bowl (or directly in a 2-cup glass measuring cup), whip the remaining ½ cup cream with an electric mixer set on high speed just until it thickens and holds its shape, not until stiff. Fold into the pumpkin mixture. Spread the filling evenly in the prepared crust. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the filling is chilled and set, at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day.
  5. Just before serving, spread the maple whipped cream over the top of the pie. Garnish with the pecan halves. Cut into wedges and serve chilled.

Maple Whipped Cream:
  1. In a medium bowl, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer set on high speed just until stiff peaks begin to form. (Better yet: Measure the cream, sugar, and vanilla into a 1-quart glass measuring cup. Whip the cream with a hand-held mixer right in the cup. You will have one less bowl to wash.) A lighter texture is better than one that is too stiff. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 day. If the cream separates, just whisk to return to the proper consistency. Makes about 2 cups.

Gingersnap Cookie Crust:
  1. Position an over rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Pulse the cookie crumbs and melted butter in a food processor until combined. Pour the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan with a removable bottom and press the mixture evenly against the bottom and sides of the pan. Make sure that the crust is not too thick in the corners. Do not press too firmly, or the crust will be hard.
  3. Put the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until the crust smells sweet and toasty, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

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