She asked me to deconstruct the classic pumpkin pie using Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin from Nestlé Kitchens*. Canned pumpkin is a very versatile ingredient and is a pantry staple for me year round. It can stand in for fat in chocolate cakes, makes a great filling for pasta, and can be transformed into all sorts of delightful fall desserts. In fact, pumpkin is among my favorite fall ingredients. Now, you all know I love to play with flavors and textures, so this Kitchen Play assignment seemed like a match made in heaven! The first thing I did was decide what I love about traditional pumpkin pie, and then I worked out how to incorporate that into a new dessert.
This dessert is perfect for the holidays because it has all the best flavors of pumpkin pie and the component parts can be made in advance. If you have ever cooked for a house full of friends, family, and hangers-on you know what a blessing that is. After a large meal, and lots of turkey, I know I am never up for a heavy dessert so I made this dish a little lighter than a traditional pie. The texture makes it very easy to eat, but with so much bold flavor you do not miss a thing! It is also very elegant, so if you are trying to impress, say, a very picky mother-in-law this may be the way to go! Feel free to play with the flavors. May I suggest, for example, a shot of rum to the mousse or a chocolate crumble?
Cinnamon Crepes with Pumpkin Mousse and Graham Crust Crumble Serves 5 or 10
For the pumpkin mousse:
1 – 15 ounce can Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
For the cinnamon crepes:
2 ounces (or 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon) cake flour
2 ounces (or 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ounce (or 2 tablespoons) sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 ounces (or 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
For the graham crumble:
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
Whipped cream for garnish
In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, and spices. Place the bowl over a pot filled with one inch of simmering water and whisk, or blend with a hand mixer, until the mixture reaches 140 F and has thickened slightly. Chill the mixture in an ice bath until cold.
While the pumpkin chills mix the powdered gelatin with the cold water and let stand ten minutes. Once bloomed heat the gelatin for 10 seconds in the microwave to melt. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Once the gelatin has cooled pour the heavy whipping cream in a medium bowl. Whip until the cream thickens then gradually pour in the melted gelatin. Whip until soft peaks form. Working in three batches, fold the whipped cream into the chilled pumpkin mixture. Once completely mixed cover and chill for at least two hours, or overnight.
While the mousse chills prepare the crepe batter. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs and egg yolks until slightly frothy. Add the melted butter and whisk to mix.
In a small saucepan scald the milk over medium heat.
In a separate bowl combine both the flours, cinnamon and sugar.
Temper the egg mixture with the hot milk, then whisk the remaining hot milk into the egg mixture. Working in three batches, whisk the flour mixture into the eggs and milk, making sure the first addition is thoroughly combined before adding the next. If small lumps remain strain, then cover and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.
After the batter has chilled, place an 8″ non-stick omelet, saute, or crepe pan over medium heat and spray it lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour 1 1/2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) of batter into the center of the hot pan and immediately swirl until the batter coats the bottom of the pan evenly. Cook until the edges release from the pan and the crepe slides easily when the pan is shaken, about one minute. Flip the crepe, or turn with a rubber spatula, and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute on the second side.
Remove to a plate and stack the cooked crepes between layers of parchment or wax paper. Cool to room temperature. If you are planning to hold for longer than a few hours seal the crepes, between the parchment paper, in a zip top bag and keep chilled.
While the crepes cool prepare the graham crumble.
Heat the oven to 350 F and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar until the mixture resembles wet sand. Pour the mixture onto the parchment lined sheet pan and press to compact the mixture. Bake for 10 minutes then cool completely. Gently crumble the graham with a fork.
To assemble the crepes spoon 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mousse into 1/4 of the crepe. Fold the crepe in half, and in half again. Top with whipped cream and graham crumble.
*Evil Shenanigans Full Disclosure Policy– In an effort to be completely transparent and forthcoming I am obligated to tell you that Nestlé compensated me for creating this recipe as part of the Kitchen Play Event. Any opinion expressed, however, is my own and is not influenced in any way by the manufacturer/PR firm. I only review/endorse products that I have personally tested and actually use and would never accept compensation to endorse a product I felt was substandard.