One might say that to dislike Pumpkin Pie is un-American. I love pumpkin in savory things: soups, stews, curries, even sautés; but give it to me in a dessert and I pass. I really do not know why. As long as I can remember I have never liked it. Maybe I have such a dislike for it due to my birthday. Having a birthday that consistently lands near Thanksgiving I can remember several occasions where a candle was stuck into a pumpkin pie as family would gather and sing – Happy Birthday. I would cringe, and the family would pass around the pie and give me a peace telling me to enjoy. How could I? I never liked it! This year I was reflecting on that. There has to be some way that I would love pumpkin in a dessert. So I started to rack my brain of different way to make it that would appeal to me. There are two spices that I love to find in a dessert that pair perfectly with pumpkin; cardamom and ginger. Now if only I can make it all compatible to my liking. I thought long and hard and came up with these profiteroles filled with a pumpkin moouse that is studded with little bits of crystalized ginger. Overall it is light, airy, subtlety sweet, and slightly spicy. How could you resist? In my opinion, it is much better than that dense and overly sweet pie. I personally think the moouse would be good on its own as well. You will just have to give it a try and make you own conclusion for yourself. I think it is a terrific alternative to the pumpkin pie for any Thanksgiving Day table. Not to mention comes together rather easily.
Profiteroles Filled with a Spiced Pumpkin Mousse (makes at least 2 dozen)
Spiced Pumpkin Mousse
1 cup of pumpkin puree
1 ½ cups of heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon
½ tsp of ground cardamom
½ tsp of vanilla extract
1 ½ tbsp of minced crystalized ginger
First; in a bowl mix together your pumpkin puree, 2 tbsp of sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Be sure all is mixed well and set aside.
Next, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whip your cream, vanilla, and the remaining sugar into a fluffy stiff peak.
Finally, add a bit of the whipped cream to your pumpkin mixture and fold together until lighted and evenly incorporated. Then add the reminding whip to your pumpkin mixture and fold together. Then sprinkle the minced crystalized ginger and stir into your mousse. *Ready to serve, as is, or fill into Pate a Choux, recipe follows; to form profiteroles.
Pate a Choux
Note: The mount this recipe makes varies on the size you scoop your dough. If you end up with more then you need feel free to wrap the remanding in plastic and freeze for a future use. ***Also, it is very important to not open the oven while cooking these. Do not check on them until they have doubled in size and at least 15 - 20 minutes have gone by.
1 cup of water
6 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of sugar
¼ tsp of kosher salt
5 ¾ oz of AP flour (bit more than 1 cup)
1 cup of eggs (about 5 eggs)
First, in a heavy bottomed pot place your butter and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Have aside your sugar, salt, and flour all sifted. Once your butter is melted and boiling with the water pour in your flour mixture and stir over the medium heat to form a paste. You are looking for it all to stick together and pull away from the sides of your pan. Remove from your stove top and set aside. Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Next, place your flour mixture in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high to release all the steam your mixture has. Once all the steam seems to be gone and the bowl of the mixture is not too warm to the touch add in your eggs, one at a time. Watch to be sure it is all incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed.
Finally, line a sheet pan with parchment and of you like you can pipe out you batter into small golf ball size amounts; but I like to just scoop it out with a small scooper. Place them evenly apart on your sheet pans and place in the oven for about 15 minutes. You are looking for your Pate a Choux to double and size and turn golden. (Sometimes I find it takes 20 minutes depending on my oven.) Remove from the oven and let cool. They should feel hallow and have a crisp outside.
***To assemble the Profiteroles slice the top of the Pate a Choux and fill the center with the Spiced Pumpkin Mousse and place the top back on. Dust them with some powdered sugar and they are ready. These are best to be eaten the day they are made, if making ahead of time keep the mousse and the pate a choux separate until they day you are serving. Keep cool until eating.