Pumpkin Mousse Tartlets

A pumpkin-spice cloud floating on top of a fudge-lined cinnamon crust. Now that’s my kind of fall weather! # 233: Pumpkin Mousse Tartlets

Are you feeling spooky yet? There are definitely some crazy decorations going up in my neighborhood, and it’s finally chilly and a tad gloomy out. FINALLY.

As you probably know, my preferred version of a pie is a tart. Pie crust is yummy of course, but tarts are basically a way for me to have both pastry cream and shortbread in one bite. And who doesn’t love a two-bite tartlet?

I’ve always been intrigued by pie cookies. Have you ever made them? They seem like a mix between a flatter tartlet and a hand pie. I love the creativity! Just proves that bakers will never be bored – there are too many fun ways to mix and match ingredients and flavors.

I used my normal sweet crust recipe (check it in my PB&J Tartlets post) but upped the cinnamon to make it more of a snickerdoodle situation. Because why not?

This was (as per usual) a whim bake, so I changed my baking vessel halfway through and went even smaller. Easier to share!

Normally when I make a mousse, I just make a pastry cream and lighten it with chantilly cream. It might be cutting some corners, but it always turns out delicious! This recipe called for whipped egg whites, gelatin AND whipped cream. I was shook.

Glittery, strange gelatin. I was a little concerned that this would be the stiffest mousse in all the land. Egg whites and whipped cream both provide structure in the form of tiny air pockets trapped in a protein-structure castle. Gelatin has a different protein structure – they line up in long ropes that can bend and reshape, turning liquid into a bouncy, resilient solid. If you use too much, it’ll become rubber and be no fun to eat. It’s like Goldilocks – you want juuuust the right amount.

Still going with a custard base, though it’s deviating from a typical pastry cream with no corn starch to thicken it. (It’s already got eggs, whipped cream and gelatin coming for it, give it a break!)

Bain-marie time. The kitchen smells sooo good.

Best laid plans… my egg whites wouldn’t whip! I’m assuming some fat snuck into the bowl somehow, but whatever the culprit, they remained flat even after 10 minutes of whipping. Luckily, I had plenty of heavy cream, so I replaced the egg white volume with more whipped cream.

Painted on the ganache (yes please!) before piping in the mousse.

The only cobweb I’ll abide.

*Hint: the mousse will firm up a bit in the fridge, so if you’re looking for a pretty slice when cut, make sure you chill it first.

Happy munching!

Recipe mostly from: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/2077-pumpkin-mousse

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