For the perfect finale to your Thanksgiving feast, here’s a creamy, sweet and light pumpkin dessert. I’ve overhauled my original recipe for cooks concerned with using refined white sugar and heavy dairy cream. This fantastic dessert is now made with agave syrup, a lower glycemic alternative to sugar, and Healthy Top, a dairy-free, soy-free replacement for heavy cream. It retains it’s wonderful texture and most importantly, spiced pumpkin flavor.
The original version of this recipe was posted two years ago. It was definitely in the splurge category because of the heavy cream. A once a year dessert reserved for Thanksgiving. The results of this updated recipe are terrific – 37% less fat and 28% less saturated fat (and that is from coconut, not animal sources).
Today, I’m even more focused on creating healthier recipes. For one thing, that means minimizing or eliminating refined white sugar. I’ve discovered products like Healthy Top and Xagave syrup and have begun experimenting with them to reduce fat and calories. While agave is still a sweetener, and we must be mindful of using all sweeteners, I like how the Xagave brand is made. In this recipe, I’ve replaced 3/4 of a cup of white sugar with 1/2 cup a agave syrup. Ifyou want to reduce all sugars further, try using liquid stevia. Metric conversions are listed in the recipe.
Just like the original, this pumpkin “mousse” is versatile. You can pipe or spoon it into stemmed wine glasses, brandy snifters or glass dessert dishes. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and you’ll have a hit on your hands.
To save time on a busy Thanksgiving day, make this pumpkin dessert a day ahead. Place the mousse in a disposable piping bag with a star tip in the end, ready to go for serving.
When you are ready for dessert, slice off the tip of the plastic bag to expose the metal tip. Twist the top of the bag to squeeze the contents down into the tip and pipe. As I am right-handed, I twist and gently squeeze with my right hand and guide the bag with my left.
Mousse and other soft fillings, either sweet or savory, are easy to store and transport in a disposable piping bag. I use a star tip size #865 – #867. These are larger tips than what you find at typical kitchen supply stores. They can be purchased at a restaurant supply, pastry supply, or on the web.
The disposable piping bags are 18” and available in a roll. One box will last a long time. I’ve also noted a source below that sells smaller quantities. I use them not only for piping mousse, but deviled egg filling and even fancy mashed potatoes. They come in handy and are clean and sanitary compared to the old cloth style.
I’m not a big fan of pumpkin pie but I do love the lightness and flavor of this pumpkin mousse. Try this new version and let me know what you think.
A note on sugar content: For those concerned with reducing all sugars in their diet, not just refined white sugar, you can use stevia instead of agave. As Healthy Top does contain sugar, using stevia would reduce the overall sugars to 8 per serving, only what is in the Healthy Top. The liquid form should incorporate easily.
Creamy Spiced Pumpkin Dessert – Reduced Sugar and Dairy Free
A note on spices and sweeteners– You can use the individual spices noted below and adjust to your taste. I often use a blend from Penzeys called Cake Spice. It’s an aromatic blend of China cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and clove. I also love Penzeys Double Vanilla. It’s good quality and strong. As Healthy Top does have sugar in it, if you want to reduce the sugars, use stevia. The liquid form would incorporate easily. It also would reduce the sugars to 8 sugars per serving overall.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (4 gr) unflavored gelatin (less than 1 envelope)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cold water
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 15 ounce (425 gr) can solid-pack organic pumpkin (not pumpkin pie base)
- 1/2 cup (167 gr or about 130 ml)) agave syrup (I prefer Xagave brand)
- 1 teaspoon Penzeys Cake Spice blend (or blend 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and a good pinch of clove and nutmeg)
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) good quality vanilla (I use Penzeys double vanilla)
- 1 16 ounce (473ml) container of Healthy Top, chilled approximately 1 hour
- Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer.
- In a medium metal bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water to soften for 1 minute. Whisk egg yolks into gelatin until smooth. Set bowl over the saucepan of simmering water. Cook gelatin-egg mixture, whisking constantly, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 160°F (71 C), about two minutes. Use a digital thermometer for easy reading, tilting bowl to facilitate measuring the temperature.
- Remove bowl from pan and by hand with a French whisk or balloon whisk, beat egg mixture until cool and thickened, about 5 minutes. You can also use an electric mixer with the whisk attachment. The mixture will be sticky. Beat in pumpkin, Xagave, spices and vanilla until smooth and combined. Chill pumpkin mixture, covered with plastic film, until thickened and cool, about 30 minutes.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer with whisk attachment, beat Healthy Top on high speed until thick, creamy and stiffened. Beat in the pumpkin mixture. You can also use a hand mixer.
- Transfer mousse to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain or star tip chill in the refrigerator for a few hours and up to a day ahead to firm up. You can also place the dessert in a large bowl and cover with plastic film. At serving, pipe or spoon into stemmed glasses or glass dishes. Just before serving, garnish with cinnamon.
Please note that this recipe has not been reviewed by FAI or medical experts. Avoidance is the only accepted course of treatment for food allergy. Always verify ingredients or food products by checking with the manufacturer and/or your physician to ensure that any foods are safe for your unique allergy issues.
Other Helpful Links, Tools and Information:
Here is the link to the original recipe with sugar and heavy cream
Star tips (with a nice photo showing them) and baking supplies on the web at The Ultimate Baker
Ateco 18″ disposable pastry bags also available at Sur La Table (set of 10)
A standing mixer is a handy tool for serious cooks. It provides hands-free operation. I have a KitchenAid Pro 600. It has a powerful motor and a 6-quart bowl. It comes in a smaller 5-quart model as well.
Questions & answers about stevia from Stevia.com
Information about Xagave brand of agave syrup
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