Move over pumpkin pie. Here’s competition for the holiday table — pumpkin tiramisù.
Those who adore their pumpkin lattes understand that pumpkin-y spices, a shot of espresso, and sweet cream are an exceptional combination. I’ve layered them all into my latest version of tiramisù, one with the flavors of pumpkin pie, the goopy goodness of pudding and the creaminess of cheese cake. Assemble it, refrigerate overnight (a must — no shortcut), then enjoy the party. When it’s time for dessert, tiramisù is ready and waiting for a stack of plates and a big spoon.
Tiramisù has a number of moving parts but I don’t find it difficult to make. There are four essentials:
• Italian style dry ladyfingers for the two cake layers and the crumb topping,
• One pound of mascarpone cheese on which the dessert is based
• A 3 to 4-quart bowl or serving dish with a sizable flat bottom.
• An overnight rest in the refrigerator to allow ladyfingers can soften completely and the spices to temper.
I always grab an extra package of ladyfingers at the Italian grocery so I have some leeway on the layers and insurance for the topping (the final layer of mascarpone isn’t very attractive). These ladyfingers are like sponges and they soften quickly. Extras can be dipped in coffee, melted chocolate or just smeared with peanut butter.
With pumpkins in season and stacked up at the grocery store, it’s logical to ask why I call for canned pumpkin in this recipe versus fresh puréed. This dessert is actually a veggie trifle. Two reasons. First, breaking down, seeding, baking, scraping and puréeing a fresh pumpkin to get 1-1/2 cups for the pudding layer isn’t worth the work. Second, fresh pumpkin can be watery — not an advantage for the pudding and a quality that might require additional cooking.
It makes me sad to say this, but for several years I spend my early November weekends buying pie pumpkins at the farm stand and pre-cooking it for pie. But I didn’t get better pies. I use very few canned foods but I do use canned pumpkin purée and I recommend it.
The pumpkin layer is based on old-fashioned pudding thickened by cornstarch. This is the kind of pudding your great grandmother would make in the days before cornstarch was given a bad name so it could be replaced by processed pudding mix. Be sure to dissolve the cornstarch thoroughly in cold milk before adding it to the rest of the pudding ingredient. After about 5 to 6 minutes over medium heat, there’s a perfect pudding base.
Here’s how the egg whites and sugar look when they are beaten to glossy firm peaks before folding them into the mascarpone.
Just for reference, I made a little video showing my folding technique. It may come in handy.
The second layer of dipped lady fingers is the center of the tiramisù. They help absorb all the excess moisture from the pudding and the mascarpone layers. Yum.
(Photos: Lisa Deyo) Copy and Paste the Link to Quick Share this Post: http://bit.ly/1RBiq39