When the weather turns chilly, I love to crank on the oven, and bake things! Cookies, pies, cakes, dumplings, crumbles, cobblers, rolls, bread . . .you name it! I love the comfort foods, and love to try my hand at the fancier specialty ones too.
I'm in the mood for something rather seasonal, with soft, creamy flavors, countered by a bit of spice. And co-incidentally, my older daughter asked if I would make a dessert for her get-together tomorrow night. (The artistic genes got passed down, but the culinary ones didn't. .what can I say?)
Soooo, I thought that I would make a Pumpkin Gingerbread Truffle! (I'll make two, so that we can have some too) It looks a lot more difficult to make than it really is, and I'm going to share the recipe that I'm passing along to my daughter. However, I'm also going to share the longer, "from scratch" version that I use.
BUT, before I get into my recipe, take a break and hop over to The Vintage Sage. She shared a recipe for Mexican Mocha Pudding with Whipped Pumpkin Cream this morning, that sounds SO good, and since I had "trifle" on my mind, immediately began thinking of how I could incorporate her dessert into mine!
Ok. .here we go. My recipe as I have made it in the past. If you want to get creative to fit your own tastes, please let me know. I love learning new recipes!
Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
2 - 14 Ounce Pkgs. Gingerbread Mix
1 - 5.1 Ounce Pkg. Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding Mix
1 - 30 Ounce Can Pumpkin Pie Filling (not just the canned pumpkin)
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Teasp. Ground Cinnamon
1 - 12 Ounce Container Frozen Whipped Topping, thawed
1/2 Cup Gingersnaps, crushed
Bake the gingerbread according to package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile prepare the pudding and set it aside to cool.
Stir in the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cinnamon into the pudding.
Crumble half of the gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl.
Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread.
Then add a layer of whipped topping.
Sprinkle the top with crushed gingersnaps.
Now HOW easy is that? And it looks VERY festive!
But, if you are a purist, and like avoiding those boxes of mixes, with all of their additives, as much as I do, then here are the alternatives.
Homemade Gingerbread (I make two of these for the trifle)
1/2 Cup Boiling Water
1/2 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (I use the light brown, but if you want a deeper flavor, try using the dark)
1/2 Cup Molasses (again, I use the light, but have used the dark, too)
1 Egg, well beaten
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Teasp. Salt
1/2 Teasp. Baking Powder
1/2 Teasp. Baking Soda
3/4 Teasp. Ground Ginger
3/4 Teasp. Ground Cinnamon
Pour hot water over shortening. Add the sugar, molasses and egg. Beat well.
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon together and add to the shortening and sugar mixture. Beat until smooth.
Bake in a waxed paper lined 8 inch square pan in a 350 degree F. oven for 35 minutes. Cool in the pan.
And, if you want to try your hand at some real whipped cream instead of the frozen artificial variety, here is a yummy recipe for that! And once you taste it, you will decide that it is worth the effort!
Basic Whipped Cream
This makes 8 servings (enough for the trifle)
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Cup Confectioner's Sugar
1 Tblsp. Vanilla Extract
Chill a metal bowl and whisk beater overnight. Pour cream into bowl and beat a low speed with an electric mixer, until thicker and foamy.
Increase speed to medium-high, and gradually sprinkle the confectioner's sugar into the cream, beating until soft peaks form. Don't whip beyond the soft peak stage, because the cream will get stiff and curdle.
Gently stir in the vanilla, and refrigerate promptly.
The best topping is made when the cream and the utensils are very cold. During warm weather, consider filling a larger bowl with ice to serve as a base to keep the mixing bowl cold while whipping.
Use heavy cream with a 30-40% butterfat content
Never use granulated sugar instead of confectioner's because it will give the cream a grainy texture.
The confectioner's sugar helps to stabilize the whipped cream, preventing it from easily collapsing.
If you wish, you can further flavor the topping to compliment your favorite desserts, with liqueurs, citrus zests, cinnamon, instant coffe crystals, cocoa powder or flavored extracts.
If you want to make your own pumpkin custard from scratch, then go for it, and let me know your recipes, please! I've cooked down pie pumpkins before and frozen it, but have never used it in this recipe.
Ok, I expect to be smelling the enticing fragrance of gingerbread wafting across the miles this afternoon!!
Have fun, and enjoy!!
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