Monday, December 1, 2014

Pumpkin Tiramisu

So in my annual quest to do something other than pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dessert, I came upon a Pumpkin Tiramisu recipe on Food and Wine's website that sounded scrumptious yet relatively easy to make. After mulling over the ingredients for several days, I decided to change things around just a tad: substituted fresh ladyfingers for the dried, modified some of the ingredient measurements, added dark rum to the coffee mixture, and topped the finished product with crushed ginger snap cookies for some texture rather than using whipped cream (already plenty of cream in the filling), shaved chocolate (seems kinda weird with pumpkin IMHO) and candied ginger (too sweet). The beauty of this recipe is that there are no eggs and therefore, no worries for those squeamish about using raw eggs which are a typical component of a traditional tiramisu, and there's no cooking in or over the stove whatsoever!

24 oz. can pumpkin
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups (3 8-oz. containers) mascarpone cheese
3 cups heavy whipping cream

2 cups strong coffee or espresso
3 tbsp. dark rum
2 tbsp. granulated sugar

4 3-oz. pkgs. fresh ladyfingers 
2 cups crushed ginger snap cookies

1. In a large bowl, stir the canned pumpkin, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, kosher salt, brown sugar and granulated sugar together with a rubber spatula until just combined. 

2. Add the mascarpone and whipping cream to the mixture and blend at low speed until soft peaks form (do not over mix). Set aside.

3. In a measuring cup or bowl, stir together the coffee, rum and 2 tbsp. granulated sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. 

4. Dip each ladyfinger briefly on both sides in the coffee-rum mixture and line the bottom of a casserole dish or trifle bowl. Top with a few ladles of the pumpkin-cheese mixture and spread until it thoroughly covers the ladyfingers. Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers and pumpkin mixture. If your dish is deep enough, add a 3rd layer of ladyfingers and top with the remaining pumpkin mixture (or, you can create a 2nd, smaller dish with the remainder). 

5. Cover and refrigerate the tiramisu at the minimum, overnight. I've found the the filling sets best (since there's no gelatin) and the flavors are more fully developed after 2-3 days in the frig, so this is a great dessert to make ahead. 

6. Just before serving, garnish with some crushed ginger snap cookies. No whipped cream is required since the filling is already super creamy!
Canned pumpkin, mascarpone cheese, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, ground ginger, and nutmeg.  

Stir the pumpkin, brown & granulated sugars, salt and spices together.  

Add the mascarpone cheese and whipping cream and blend over low speed until soft peaks form. Do not over mix. 

Fresh ladyfingers, usually available in the produce section around the strawberries and/or other berries.  

Coffee mixture: 2 cups strong coffee (cooled), dark rum, and 2 tbsp. sugar. mixed until sugar has dissolved.  

Dip each ladyfinger very briefly on both sides (don't over saturate or the cake-like cookies will become too soggy in the tiramisu). 

Line a single layer of the dipped ladyfingers in the bottom of a large casserole dish.  

Ladle some of the pumpkin mixture over the ladyfingers and spread over until just covered (don't smother). 

Repeat the layers one or two more times, depending on the depth of your casserole (always end with the pumpkin mixture on top). If any leftover, use them to make another tiramisu in a smaller casserole. Cover and refrigerate at least overnight, but preferably 2-3 days for a firmer filling and better flavor. 

 Just before serving, crush some ginger snap cookies by placing in a ziploc bag, sealing, and pounding with the flat side of a mallet or rolling pin. 

Sprinkle the crushed cookies over the tiramisu.

Slice carefully with a spatula (offset spatula works best if you have one) as the tiramisu will be much softer than your average "cake" and serve. 

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