Pies with top crusts get all the glory. Crumbled dutch apple toppings, lattices of pie crust dough and fun patterns cut and stamped adorn many a holiday pie.
But what about plain old pumpkin pies? When do they get to be jazzed up, other than the occasional spray or blob of whipped cream?
Let the adornment begin!
This pumpkin mousse recipe makes a fabulous decoration on top of pumpkin pie, and being pressable with a cookie press, you can choose from a multitude of shapes that suit your holiday theme. The flavor and texture is so close to that of pumpkin pie, the decorative shapes will blend right in and your taste buds will be as happy as your eyes. (See bottom of post for pumpkin mousse parfaits!)
Today I pressed a couple of cookie sheets full of designs using Impress!™ cookie press shapes, some from the Thanksgiving disk set and some from the Leaves & Trees disk set. Once I saw them and played around with different combinations I decided on a Turkey (from the Thanksgiving set) in the pie’s center and Oak Leaves (from the Leaves & Trees set) all around. The other shapes I saved to make parfaits with later.
So here’s how to make the pumpkin mousse shapes.
You will need a cookie press and disks of your desired shapes.
Gather your ingredients:
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 can pumpkin (15 oz can of pumpkin- not pumpkin pie filling)
3 teaspoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon mixed spices (see recipe below)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons very finely crushed vanilla wafers (mini wafers are easiest to pulverize in a blender or similar appliance)
spice mix recipe:
Combine 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp ginger and 1/8 tsp cloves. Use ½ tsp of this mix in the recipe.
With an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and pumpkin together. Add the brown sugar, powdered sugar, spices and finely crushed vanilla wafers and mix until well-combined. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 to 15 minutes to “set”. If it is not stiff enough or the room is very warm, try refrigerating the dough, but not for too long. Very cold mixtures are hard to press. (It helps if you have made spritz cookies before- then you’ll be familiar with the consistency you are looking for.)
Place the mixture in your press barrel by the spoonful, packing it as you go, removing any air pockets that may form. Press the mousse onto a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes until they set and are removable with a wet spatula (the thinner the spatula, the better!)
*SPECIAL TIPS for removing shapes.
After pressing, place these shapes in the freezer until firm enough to remove with a wet spatula. It’s easiest to let the cold cookie sheet sit for 3 to 5 minutes, just long enough for the shapes to “let go” of the sheet more easily. If they become too warm and lose their shape as you lift them simply return them to the freezer for a bit then try again. Once you get the hang of this technique, it’s easy! Experiment with a couple of these techniques and see what works for you: wipe the end of the spatula between lifting each shape, try buttering the end of the spatula or dipping it in or running it under warm water. Sometimes keeping it slightly wet helps the shapes lift. Also keep your fingers slightly wet when handling to avoid sticking.
Now garnish your pie as you please! It can be just as gloriously beautiful as any top-crust pie.
If you have leftover shapes, make Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits!
Spoon (or pipe through a decorating bag) the remaining mixture into single serving cups or bowls, alternating layers with whipped cream or whipped topping. Place shaped mousse as garnish on top of the parfaits.
For these parfaits I pressed the entire Thanksgiving disk set.
Enjoy! Happy Holidays and Happy Pressing!
Disk Designer/Co-Owner at Impress! Bakeware, LLC
“Get creative with your cookie press!”
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The Thanksgiving and Leaves Sets: