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Flour Girl: Pumpkin pie or parfait

Pumpkin Mousse Pie. (Leigh Lambert/The Washington Post)

Not every kitchen adventure is successful. Or, more accurately, not every kitchen adventure ends in the way you expect.

Recipe Included

I had an idea to make a pumpkin mousse that included tofu. I have made chocolate mousse this way and was in love with the result. Why not pumpkin, given the season? I don't normally advocate prepared ingredients, but I just happened to have a leftover can of pumpkin pie filling, not to be confused with 100 percent pureed pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling comes already sweetened and spiced. Not a bad thing; it just takes away the control of how sweet and how spiced your finished product is. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the flavor. I did add a squeeze of lemon to cut the sweetness and add more flavor dimension.

Because I was in shortcut mode, I decided to make the rest of the pie easy as well. Using a store-bought graham cracker crust (or crumb crust of your choice) means this pie can be assembled in minutes. The freezing step takes a few hours longer, but does not require any attention. Hardly stressful.

Now, here's the thing. I was expecting the mousse would hold its shape when refrigerated so I didn't freeze my pie. I only refrigerated it for a few hours. It was partially set, but loose once sliced. (Freezing the mousse makes it solid enough to cut cleanly.)

If you don't want to serve it frozen, you can make layered parfait glasses with crumbled gingersnap cookies and whipped cream.

-- Leigh Lambert

Pumpkin Mousse Pie
Makes a 9-inch pie (12 servings) or 8 parfaits

This filling can be poured into a prepared crust to be served as a frozen pie or layered with crumbled gingersnap cookies and whipped cream to create a parfait; see VARIATION, below.

3 3/4 cups (one 30-ounce can) pumpkin pie mix, such as Libby's brand
12 ounces silken soft tofu, such as Mori-Nu brand, drained
Finely grated zest and juice from 1 lemon (2 teaspoons of zest and about 2 tablespoons of juice)
One 9-inch store-bought graham cracker crust
16 gingersnap cookies, crushed (optional; see VARIATION)
2 cups slightly sweetened whipped cream (optional; see VARIATION)

Combine the pumpkin pie mix, tofu, lemon zest and juice in a blender. Process on low speed to start, then increase the speed to high. Blend for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is fully combined and smooth.

Pour the filling into the prepared graham cracker crust. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze for at least 3 hours, or until completely firm.

Fifteen minutes before serving, transfer the pie to the countertop to sit at room temperature so that it softens slightly. Use a knife that has been run under or dunked in hot water to cut the pie into slices, drying the knife blade between each cut.

VARIATION: If making parfaits, portion one-third of the mousse among 8 wine glasses. Divide the crushed gingersnaps over each portion, then layer with one-third of the mousse. Divide the remaining one-third of the mousse among the glasses, then top with equal amounts of whipped cream. Serve immediately.

By Leigh Lambert  |  November 12, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Flour Girl , Recipes  | Tags: Flour Girl, Leigh Lambert, pumpkin, recipes  
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Next: Holiday favorites: Bird and gravy


Kim O'Donnel posted a recipe for an incredible tofu pumpkin pie in her former blog.

Pumpkin pie

1 16-ounce package of silken tofu, drained
1 15-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 9-inch pie shell
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Blend tofu and pumpkin in a food processor until combined and looking orange. Add sugar and vanilla and blend until well-combined. With a rubber spatula, scoop mixture out of food processor bowl and into a medium mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir by hand until they are well-integrated. Pour into 9-inch pie shell. Place pie shell on a baking tray, which goes into the oven.
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake for about 45 minutes, until filling is nearly set. You may also notice slight cracks, which is a good indication that filling is set.
Remove from oven and cool about 1 hour. Cover with foil and place in refrigerator until cold, at least one hour. Best served cold.

Posted by: egengle | November 12, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

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