There’s a special place in my heart reserved for fall. I think that’s true of most people as well, but even more than just a general fondness for fall, I’m specifically in love with the change……
It’s not just the cool weather and moody skies that I love; it’s feeling those unexpected shocks of cool air that cut through the last steamy remnants of summer. It’s suddenly noticing that the leaves are now green in the middle and brown on the edges. It’s never quite knowing what time it is because the waning light is changing so quickly. Fleeting as it is, there’s just something magical about the whole process.
This recipe embodies the whole beautiful experience to me. The warm flavors of pumpkin and nutmeg, beckoning me to embrace the coming fall season; even as the chilled chiffon airiness and bright, fresh whipped cream clings to the memory of those long lingering last summer days.
We only have a few short weeks like this each year, and this special treat is one of the ways that our family revels in the subtle passing of another glorious summer and embraces the coming colder days. I hope that you all enjoy it as much as we do.
Pumpkin Pie Whipped Mousse Cups
1/2 cup chilled pumpkin puree (I use Libby’s organic or fresh pumpkin puree)
4 tablespoons maple syrup (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 teaspoon Primal Palate Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 cup chilled coconut cream* (takes 1-2 cans)*
1/2 cup coconut cream for “whipped cream” topping
Optional: Add a few tablespoons of crushed cookie crust to the bottom of each mousse cup, before adding the mousse. I like to use the almond four shortbread crust from My Paleo Patisserie.
Optional: For a thicker consistency for use in pies or tarts and other, more sliceable outcomes: Mix 3/4 teaspoon gelatin powder (I use THIS Vital Protein’s Gelatin. It’s in the green container) with 1 Tablespoon cool water, in a small bowl (or espresso size mug). Let ‘bloom’ for about 5 minutes and all the water is absorbed. Then melt the gelatin in a microwave with short bursts of heat till fully melted, but not so hot it’s bubbling. See Method for when to add.
*Note on coconut milk: After many years of making coconut whipped cream, I can honestly say the best coconut milk I’ve found for whipping is, THIS Whole Foods 365 brand. It yields a smooth cream and a large amount each time. Usually, I cup of cream per can. Other brands can yield less cream and you may need 2 cans to get the one cup for the mousse.
If your coconut cream is not thick, smooth and creamy from the start, You will not get a smooth and creamy whipped up cream, no matter how long you beat it. If you open a can that yields a grainy texture, just pour it into a container to be saved and used for other purposes like soups and smoothies (store in the refrigerator).
Prep for coconut cream: To make whipped coconut cream for the mousse, chill 2-3 cans of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge, for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to use, open the can(s) and scoop out the cream leaving the liquid behind.
For the mousse:
1. Add 1 cup of the coconut cream to your KitchenAid bowl or another medium-sized bowl. Then using your KitchenAid fitted with the whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer, beat the coconut cream for a few minutes on a high speed. Continue to beat until it begins to loosen up and fluff a little.
2. Now add the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Continue beating on high for another 1-2 minutes. Sometimes I beat it for an even longer time – you want as much fluff as possible.
3. For a thicker (sliceable) mousse, now is when you would add the optional gelatin (see above note): Slowly pour, melted and slightly cooled, gelatin into the pumpkin mixture, while it’s still whipping.
4. Transfer into cups or ramekins, how many depends on the size of the dish. Cover and chill until as needed (about 2 hours if using the gelatin.)
5. To serve, whip up an additional 1/2 cup of coconut cream (any amount less, won’t whip up well). Add maple syrup and a splash of vanilla to taste. If it’s still super thick, you can add the leftover coconut milk water, 1 teaspoon at a time until it reaches a consistency you like. Add a dollop or more of whipped cream to each mousse cup and sprinkle with more pumpkin spice powder or ground nutmeg.
Yields about 1 1/2 cups. How many servings? I leave that up to you – but I find this recipe generally serves 2-3 nicely.