Like I’ve already mentioned in a post a few days ago, I’m hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year and I want to put a little spin on the ordinary. So I’ve been on the lookout for recipes that give you a taste of something new, while still satisfying the need for traditional dishes. I came across a recipe for Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart in the recent Food Network Magazine (by Ina Garten, November 2009, Page 174) so I decided to give it a test run. I don’t want to have any surprises on my menu!
Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart
For the Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (14 crackers)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted
For the Filling:
1/2 cup half and half
1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounce)
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 large yolks (I think I messed up and only put two!)
1 pkg (2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
2 tbsp white sugar
For the decoration:
1 cup cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter in a bowl and mix well. Pour into a tart pan with a removable bottom and press evenly along the sides then the bottom. Bake 10 minutes and then cool completely.
For the filling, heat the half and half, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a double boiler about 5 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks together in another bowl and add a spoon of the hot pumpkin mixture to it to slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs. Pour the egg/pumpkin mixture back in with the rest of the pumpkin and stir well. Heat another 4-5 minutes or till it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat.
Dissolve the gelatin in another bowl with 1/4 cup cold water. Add the dissolved gelatin, banana and orange zest to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Set aside to cool.
Whip the heavy cream with a mixer until it forms soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar and whip until you have firm peaks. Carefully fold into the cooled pumpkin mixture and then pour evenly into the shell. Cool in the fridge for at least two hours, or overnight.
For the decorative touch, whip the heavy cream with the mixer until soft peaks have formed. Add the sugar, whipping until firm peaks are formed. Add the vanilla and orange zest and mix well. Empty into a piping bag and pipe onto tart. Serve chilled.
Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart (the whipped cream was starting to melt!)
The Verdict: I invited James’ brother Jason and his girlfriend Michelle over to be my guinea pigs. They both loved it, as did James and I. Even our daughter loved it! The crust is perfect, crunchy and sweet and the filling is similar to pumpkin pie but just has a hint of something special added in. And don’t even get me started on the homemade whipped topping. OMG. Never gonna buy frozen stuff again! This definitely won a place on our Thanksgiving menu!