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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Semifreddo Pie with Ginger Orange Sauce

Pumpkin Pie is as much of a staple at Thanksgiving as hot dogs are at a baseball game. It's wrong to get sushi at a ballgame (even if it is available!) and it would be wrong to skip the turkey-day pumpkin - I'm pretty sure it's written in the rules somewhere. Plus, Aunt Mable and Uncle Bob would NEVER stand for it.

But there is nothing in the rules that say the pumpkin can't be a cold, frozen treat!  This is a Fat and Happy twist on the typical pumpkin pie. It's easier, it goes together faster and you still get that homey, fall feeling which comes with pumpkin. After the heavy meal of turkey, stuffing and potatoes you'll find this to be a nice light alternative that's a little easier on the tummy.

If you want to your mini frozen pumpkin pies to the next level- do make the orange sauce to serve along side these delightful treats. Change up your holiday dessert while keeping tradition without causing coronaries with the relatives. This could become your new Fat and Happy Holiday meal tradition.

Tips and Techniques:  Think of a semifreddo as ice creams' distant cousin. After testing 3 versions of this recipes which were exactly the same - the Greek Yogurt edged out the cream cheese, with the mascarpone falling to last place. All three are acceptable and could be used, but if you trust this blog at all, I would stick with the yogurt or cream cheese and stay away from the mascarpone.

Pumpkin Semifreddo Pie

Gingersnap Crust:
30 thin gingersnap cookies
2 tbls butter

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (can use canned)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbls brown sugar
pinch of salt
4 oz of Greek yogurt, cream cheese or mascarpone
1/2 cup cream- whipped to soft peaks
1/4 cup sugar

Pulse the gingersnap cookies in a Cuisinart (or with a rolling pin) until finely crumbled.  Add in 2 tablespoons of melted butter.  Push  about 2 -3 tablespoons of the cookie crumb into the bottom of  muffin tin pan.  Place in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

FOR EASE: do not bake the crumbs, but rather layer a mound of crumbs on top of your semifreddo before placing in the freezer.

Make the semifreddo:  Using a hand held mixer, mix the pumpkin, spices, vanilla, brown sugar and salt until smooth.  In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream with the granulated sugar until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin puree.

Fill the muffin cups and place in the freezer until ready to serve, at least 3 hours. To remove from the muffin tins, wet a wash cloth with hot water and rub it on the under side of each individual tin; you'll need to keep re-wetting the cloth as you move through the pan. Gently use a knife to ease each pie out. Allow the mini pies to defrost a few minutes prior to serving.

To serve: place a scoop of the Orange Ginger Sauce in the middle of each plate, place one mini pumpkin semifreddo pie on top and sprinkle the plate with remaining ginger crumbs.

Ginger Orange Amaretto Sauce

2 tbls brown sugar
1 large orange, juiced and zested (about 1 cup of orange juice)
2 tbls of amaretto or brandy
1/ 4 tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.  Cool before serving.

Makes 8 - 10 , using a typical muffin tin pan

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