Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Rewind

I've been so busy with wedding planning and work, that I've neglected cooking, baking and blogging. But I will remedy that by posting two hit recipes I used for Thanksgiving. As the person in charge of making one dessert, I made two instead--a classic tiramisu and a pumpkin banana mousse tart adapted from an Ina Garten recipe.


I recommend making this 2 days prior to consuming


6 egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 lb. marscapone cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup strong brewed flavored coffee at room temperature
4 tbsp. rum
2 3 ounce packages soft lady fingers
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder


Step 1: Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium saucepan, then whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring. When it comes to a boil, take off heat, cover and refrigerate for an hour
Step 2: Beat cream and vanilla in bowl until stiff peaks form
Step 3: Whisk marscapone in egg yolk mixture
Step 4: Combine coffee and rum in small bowl and brush half the lady fingers with coffee rum mix, then layer bottom of pan with soaked fingers
Step 5: Spread half of marscapone mixture on top of fingers, then add half of cream mixture on top of that. Repeat with lady fingers and mixtures once more
Step 6: Refrigerate 1-3 days, then dust with cocoa powder and serve

Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart


For the crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (14 crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1 package (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 1 ripe banana, finely mashed
  • 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

For the decoration:

  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, spices and melted butter in a bowl and mix well. Pour into an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press evenly into the sides and then the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes and then cool to room temperature.
For the filling, heat the half-and-half, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until hot, about 5 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks in another bowl, stir some of the hot pumpkin into the egg yolks to heat them, then pour the egg-pumpkin mixture back into the double boiler and stir well. Heat the mixture over the simmering water for another 4 to 5 minutes, until it begins to thicken, stirring constantly. You don't want the eggs to scramble. Remove from the heat.
Dissolve the gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Add the dissolved gelatin and banana to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Set aside to cool.
Whip the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until you have firm peaks. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture and pour it into the cooled tart shell. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
For the decoration, whip the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk until you have firm peaks. Pipe or spoon the whipped cream decoratively on the tart and sprinkle, if desired, with orange zest. Serve chilled.

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