No crust. No-cook. No stress!
I hosted my first Friendsgiving a few days ago. It was a last-minute decision, so there was no time for anything fancy. I wanted the dinner to have a traditional feel, without spending the traditional time, energy and preparation!!
Instead of a whole turkey, I made an Apple Cider Turkey Breast. I also made updated (stress-free) versions of some favorite side dishes. (I’ll be posting those recipes shortly.) Then, there was the pumpkin pie issue. The issue was, I didn’t have the oven space to bake a pie. For “real” Thanksgiving, I bake the pies the day before, which wasn’t an option for this no-notice event.
I haven’t made a pie crust from scratch for years. I’m actually not positive I ever made pie crust, but that’s another conversation! I always use frozen or refrigerated crust. It tastes fine and does the job, but it’s nothing spectacular. I reserve “spectacular” for the filling. So, I decided to forego the crust this year and only make “filling.” I opted to make a super easy but unbelievable delicious no-cook pumpkin mousse.
Ready to chill in 5 minutes
There is no prepping needed with this recipe. Gotta love that!! The ingredients are all ones that I stock up on in the Fall, including pumpkin pie spice. I love this spice mix. It eliminates needing four different spices, which means curring down on measuring, cleaning, and making things easier. Pumpkin pie spice combines cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger. If you don’t have the spice mix, just use cinnamon or any combination of the above spice that total 1¼ teaspoon.
Mix the cold milk, pumpkin, instant pudding, and pumpkin spice for 2 minutes and stir in the whipped topping. Ta-da! It’s mousse!. Now, you can go as elegant or simple as you want to serve it.
Wine goblets as dessert glasses
I’m bringing this up now because the mousse chills in the serving vessels. If you have dessert glasses, goblets, or pretty individual bowls, this is your opportunity to use them! A large serving bowl (if you have a pretty crystal bowl –use it!) will also work.
While the mousse is chilling, this is the time to make the sugared pecans. If you don’t like pecans, use chopped walnuts or pepita (pumpkin) seeds. Melt the butter in a small skillet or microwave and stir in the sugar until it’s dissolved. Then, stir in the nuts. Set the nuts aside.
Easy praline topping
Right before serving, sprinkle the sugared nuts on top of the mousse. If you want to zhoosh it up with an optional garnish, currents and/or fresh mint will make it look even more special. I love the mouse and topping just as it is!
My guests went crazy over this dessert!!! They had no idea how super easy it was – they assumed that I spent hours on it. My friends thought it was better than pumpkin pie. I highly recommend this recipe for young cooks, new cooks, and non-cooks! It is a keeper. Ditch the pie crust for this light, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin mouse topped with sugared pecans. Ready to chill in under 10 minutes. Super easy!
Praline Pumpkin MousseCourse: DessertCuisine: Thanksgiving, HolidayDifficulty: Super Easy
Ditch the pie crust for this light, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin mouse topped with sugared pecans. Ready to chill in under 10 minutes. Super easy!
1 cup cold milk
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
2 packages (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1-1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 – 8oz tub thawed whipped topping (Cool Whip)
½ cup chopped Pecans
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- In a large bowl, mix cold milk, pumpkin, instant pudding, and pumpkin spice for 2 minutes (mixture will be thick). Stir in whipped topping. Spoon into individual dessert glasses or a large serving bowl. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Toss in the nuts and stir until coated. Set aside. SPRINKLE the nut mixture over desserts just before serving.
- Pumpkin pie spice: Substitute 1 teaspoon cinnamon with ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Pecans: Substitute chopped walnuts or pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Zhoosh it: Garnish with currants, a light sprinkling of ground cinnamon and fresh mint leaves just before serving.