For the perfect finale to your Thanksgiving feast, here’s a creamy, sweet and light pumpkin dessert. I’ve overhauled my original recipe that used 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 plant, not animal sources).
Today, I’m more focused on creating healthier recipes. That means eliminating refined white sugar. I’ve discovered products like Healthy Top, Xagave syrup, and liquid stevia and have begun experimenting with them to reduce sugar, fat and calories.
NOTE – Since this post, Healthy Top went out of business. I am in the process of working on a new recipe. The original recipe can be found here
On Sweeteners: Agave and Stevia
Agave syrup is still a sweetener and sugar to our bodies, so we must be mindful of how much we consume. Many people are critical of agave syrup because of how it is made and the amount of fructose most have. One brand I will buy is Xagave. They produce it at 118º, so it is considered a raw product, and it is lower in fructose than any other brand I have found.
In this recipe, I’ve replaced 3/4 of a cup of white sugar with 1/2 cup a agave syrup. I you want to reduce all sugars further, try using liquid stevia. I buy Sweet Leaf drops in vanilla creme or pumpkin spice. You can use all stevia or half agave and about 10-12 drops of stevia.
How to Serve
To serve, try piping or spooning it into stemmed wine glasses, brandy snifters or glass dessert dishes. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick.
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 online.
The disposable piping bags are 18” and available in a roll. 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.
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
- 18″clear, disposable piping bags, package of 10 or package of 100 on Amazon. Find them also at Sur La Table.
- Whisks are an essential tool. Here are several that I use – A French whisk and a balloon whisk.
- 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
Creamy, rich-tasting and light with a spiced pumpkin flavor, I’ve replaced the sugar with agave syrup and the heavy cream with Healthy Top to reduce fat and calories. This is a healthier recipe than the original, and it tastes delicious. Make it a day ahead and have dessert taken care of during a busy Thanksgiving celebration. A note on sweeteners. As Healthy Top does have sugar in it, you can reduce the sugar by using stevia. The liquid form (I use Sweet Leaf) incorporates easily and reduces sugar. See notes at recipe end.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (4 grams) 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
- 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
- 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 or balloon whisk, beat egg mixture until cool and thickened, about 5 minutes. You can also use a handheld 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.
- Note to reduce sugar: To reduce sugar further, cut the agave by half and use about 10-12 drops of liquid stevia. I use the brand Sweet Leaf, They make pumpkin spice and vanilla creme flavors which work great in this recipe. Find it at health oriented markets and online.