I love Thanksgiving!  It is simply my most favorite holiday of the year.  When I was a very young child, I always remember my grandmother’s family traveling to Las Vegas from Los Angeles to be with us for Thanksgiving.  I loved everyone “Gathering” together in the kitchen each family member making their most prized dish for the holiday table.  I remember eating things on Thanksgiving that we never ate any other time of year.  Like stuffing, Apple Streusel, Kishke, (don’t ask) and homemade cranberry sauce!  I used to look forward to this holiday because of the people who we only could share love with once a year, and the foods that brought us all together.  

I always want to re-create that love every year for myself and my family who were not even on the planet when I began to experience this kind of love in the kitchen.   This recipe is by Ina Garten.  I have tried many times to change this mousse to make it my own, but nothing can re-create the magic that Ina has put into this recipe.  Any one ingredient put in or left out would be noticed and change the perfection of her creation.  This is the most amazing dessert to put into Tiger Pumpkins and it can be done many hours before dinner.  Enjoy!

To Roast the Pumpkins

Serves:

6 – 8

Total Time:

30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Miniature Tiger Pumpkins (one for each one of your guests)

  • Organic coconut oil spray

 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

Cut off the tops of the pumpkins.

With a grapefruit or serrated spoon, scrape out the meat and seeds, being careful not to scrape the bottom too thinly.

Once hollowed out, spray the inside of the pumpkin with the organic coconut oil spray.

Sprinkle with salt.

Wipe the outside of the pumpkins with a paper towel to remove the extra oil so they do not char in the oven.

Place upside down on a cookie sheet lined with a cooking rack and bake with the tops off but also in the oven for 15 minutes. Watching closely to be sure they do not crack or split. You will know they are done when they no longer smell raw and have a sweet pumpkin aroma to them.

 

To Make the Pumpkin Mousse

Serves:

8 – 10

Total Time:

2 hours 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 extra-large egg yolks
  • 2 packages (4 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 ripe bananas, finely mashed
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus more for garnish, optional

Topping:

  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Directions:

Heat the half-and-half, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, 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.

 Add the banana, and orange zest to the pumpkin mixture and mix well.  

Dissolve the gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water. Add the dissolved gelatin, Set aside to cool.

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 granulated sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk until you have firm peaks. Fold half the whipped cream into the cooled pumpkin mixture.

Pour the mousse into each individual Tiger Pumpkin and pipe or spoon the remaining whipped cream decoratively on the mousse and sprinkle, if desired, with orange zest. Serve chilled. Enjoy!

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