PUMPKIN MOUSSE WITH WHIPPED CREAM

Serves 8

Mousse:

1½ tsp unflavored gelatin

1½ TBSP cold water

15 oz pumpkin puree, fresh or canned

6 TBSP packed brown sugar

6 TBSP granulated sugar

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground allspice

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

¼ tsp ground ginger

1½ cups heavy cream

Whipped Cream:

½ cup heavy cream

2 TBSP maple syrup

OR

1 TBSP confectioner's sugar

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

⅛ tsp ground ginger

OR

1 TBSP bourbon

2½ tsp brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1. For the mousse: In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water, stir and let soften until opaque, about 3 minutes.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the pumpkin puree, the sugars, the spices, and heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the softened gelatin. Move to a large bowl and let mixture cool to room temperature.

3. Using a hand mixer, whip the 1½ cups cream to soft peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, stir one-third of the whipped cream into the puree, then fold in the remaining cream, making a mousse. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

4. When ready to serve, portion the mousse evenly into dessert dishes. Top with your choice of whipped cream.

5. For the whipped cream: Chill a large metal bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes. Add the ½ cup cream and maple syrup (or sugar and spices or bourbon, brown sugar and vanilla) to the chilled bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the cream mixture to medium peaks. Spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch star tip and pipe whipped cream on mousse. Alternatively, dollop each mousse with the whipped cream.