I have fallen in love with making mini desserts especially after a very large meal. So, when it came time to make a decision about what kind of dessert to make after Thanksgiving dinner I knew I would make something with pumpkin, and something small.
My first choice was to make a pumpkin pie pudding recipe that Kristine prepared a few years ago but I wanted to look around and see what else I could find from some of my favorite cooks.
After some research I came across a recipe called, Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits. The recipe is from the 2006 Barefoot Contessa at Home. I love Ina Garten and to-date had never made anything from her books that did not wow my guests.
First things first, I had to find some mini glasses and did so at Bed, Bath and
Beyond. They had this crazy set of 18 glasses of three different sizes and shapes ranging from 2.0 oz. to 4.0 oz., plus the miniature spoons and, I thought, okay that looks great. Guests could choose depending on how much room they still have left after eating but each would get at least a taste of something sweet.
Now, I looked at the Ina’s recipe and knew that because I was going to make a miniature version of the recipe that I had to change it up a little. I decided to just fill the glass with the mousse and skip the layer of whipped cream in the middle and just opt to put whipped cream on the top.
When it came time to put them together I did, however, add some crumbled ginger snap cookies before adding a second layer of mousse. In retrospect I would not do that again instead just serving the mousse with a whipped cream topping. Why you ask? Because the cookies sitting overnight between two layers of mousse became too soft eliminating the idea that there would be an added crunchy texture.
This recipe was very easy to put together and took no time at all. The only test was how to get the mousse into the small glasses. Trying it with a spoon meant getting the mousee on the lip of the glasses and frankly looked a bit messy. So, I spooned the mixture into a quart sized zip-lock bag, cut a whole inthe bottom and squeezed the mixture into the glasses. This turned out to be just the ticket.
As a good hostess I am always aware that not everyone likes a particular taste and searched around for something else I could place on the dessert table. My local grocery store, Publix, had these wonderful brownie bites and petit fours decorated in fall colors and some with turkeys that were just perfect. Now I had two minis, wonderful. But just in case, I also picked up a streusel pumpkin pie. Overkill? Perhaps but we cooks always want to please our guests to be happy, now don’t we?
As I mentioned in my last blog Wonderfully moist, brined Thanksgiving turkey, we had so much food no one was ready to jump to the dessert table. Eventually, as the afternoon went on one-by-one I would see those wonderful little mini desserts coming to the table. I overhead Jack saying to his wife Diana, “I think there is alcohol in these”. “Yes, there is. There is a little dark rum,” I said. I thought it was interesting that the rum was the first taste experienced. What I found even more interesting is that almost everyone had the same reaction to the dessert: The dessert was smooth, creamy and delicious but did not taste like pumpkin.
My next venture with mini desserts will be a chocolate mousse. But that is for anothe day. For now I will be back in the kitchen making healthy meals again getting ready for all the wonderful delights of the Christmas holidays. Until then..