Traditional Pumpkin Mousse
Thanksgiving is coming!
It’s about a week and a half away for those of us in Canada, with the American version coming later next month.
Between that, and the weather finally changing, fall - and holiday - foods have definitely been on our minds here.
How could they not be, with the bounty of local apples showing up at the farmers markets, displays of pumpkins and other festive looking gourds everywhere, etc?
Anyway, I’ve been meaning to share my pumpkin mousse recipe for a while now, so consider me inspired to finally do so!
This mousse is done in the traditional style, which I prefer.
Don’t let the fact that it’s traditional vs “easy” fool you, traditional style is literally less than 5 minutes of extra work, over what the easy style is - just beating egg whites.
Maple Pumpkin Mousse
It differs slightly in two ways - the sweetener used, and the fact that spice is added.
I used maple syrup instead of granulated sugar when developing this recipe.
As the BIGGEST stereotype of Canadians, I will literally do shots of maple syrup. Of course I’m going to use it in recipes when I have even the slightest excuse to!
I even add some to my Maple Pumpkin Mead, even though it's got honey as the base, by definition.
Just a really great flavour combination with pumpkin, IMHO.
Anyway, with the added pumpkin pie spice, this is a light, fluffy mousse that tastes a lot like pumpkin pie. Great for a more elegant holiday dessert offering!
Traditional vs Easy Mousse
When it comes to dessert mousse, there are two main styles - “Easy” and “Traditional”.
What is Easy Mousse?
“Easy” style mousse is basically flavoured whipped cream that’s been stabilized with gelatin.
You can start from scratch - beating heavy whipping cream until it’s ... whipped cream - or you can start with a product like Cool Whip.
Either way, you add your flavouring - liqueur, fruit, chocolate, extract, whatever - and some gelatin that you’ve bloomed and melted.
Whisk it all together, put it in cups, chill it a couple hours, and you have easy mousse.
What is Traditional Mousse?
Traditional mousse is made with raw egg yolks and/or egg whites. (I tend to use just the whites in mine)
Traditional mousse generally comes together in 3 parts:
- Flavour base (Fruit, etc), usually mixed with sugar and the bloomed and melted gelatin
- Whipped cream. When I’m doing a chocolate mousse, the chocolate is usually in with the whipped cream.
- The egg whites.
While traditional mousse is perfectly safe for the vast majority of the population, pregnant women, the elderly, and immune compromised individuals may want to opt for the easy version, which does not contain any raw eggs.
Which Mousse is Better?
If you don’t have any health considerations that rule out the use of the egg whites - and are willing to invest the extra 5 minutes?
Honestly, the traditional mousse is 100% worth the effort.
Easy mousse is like flavoured whipped cream. It’s a tasty flavoured whipped cream, but the texture isn’t the same as the real thing.
The whipped egg whites produce tiny bubbles, and give the whole thing a fine ... foam... texture. It’s lighter and fluffier than easy mousse, and way more fun to eat, IMHO.
A Few Notes on Ingredients
- Be sure to use pumpkin puree, rather than pumpkin pie filling. You want just straight pumpkin, without all the added ingredients that come in pie filling.
- “Heavy Cream” goes by different names. You may also know it as “Whipping Cream” or “35% Cream”.
- If you don’t have maple syrup, you can substitute granulated sugar, in the same amount.
- If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can mix your own. I usually do ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ginger, ⅛ teaspoon cloves, ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg for this.
How to Make Pumpkin Mousse
Full recipe follows, but here’s a pictorial overview:
Combine pumpkin puree, maple syrup, spice, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl, set aside.
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
Transfer gelatin bowl to microwave, heat in 10-second increments until gelatin melts.
Pour melted gelatin into pumpkin puree mixture, stir until well incorporated, then set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
In a separate bowl (stand mixer, ideally!), whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined.
Whip cream until stiff peaks form, then carefully fold into the pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined.
Pour into 4-6 serving glasses, chill until set, about 2 hours.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of cinnamon!
More Holiday Recipes
Looking for more inspiration for your holiday spread? Whether Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any of the other holidays, here's a few ideas for you!
Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brandied Apple Upside Down Cake
Chicken Based Potato Sausage Recipe - Potatiskorv
Egg Nog Sticky Buns
Gouda Mashed Potatoes
Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots
Mushroom Brie Turnovers
Noelles - Holiday Cookies
Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
Savoury Mushroom Chestnut Stuffing
Southern Comfort Glazed Ham
Southern Comfort Pecan Pie
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Traditional Pumpkin Mousse
- 1 cup Canned pumpkin puree*
- ⅓ cup Maple syrup
- ¾ teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 3 teaspoon Unflavored gelatin powder
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 Large egg whites
- 1 cup Heavy cream
- Combine pumpkin puree, maple syrup, spice, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl, set aside.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
- Transfer gelatin bowl to microwave, heat in 10-second increments until gelatin melts.
- Pour melted gelatin into pumpkin puree mixture, stir until well incorporated, then set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- In a separate bowl (stand mixer, ideally!), whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined.
- Whip cream until stiff peaks form, then carefully fold into the pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined.
- Pour into 4-6 serving glasses, chill until set, about 2 hours.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of cinnamon!