I really like fall, you know. I like the change in our weather—that our scorching summer heat backs off to cooler, crisper temperatures. I like the more frequent rainy weather that rolls through the city (so long as I don’t get caught in a downpour without an umbrella!), and I like pulling out my fall jackets, tall boots, and flannel scarves from the closets and freshening them up to wear once more. I like looking for the changing colours in the tree leaves, and watching the fields near my house turn from vibrant summertime green to a pale, harvest gold as the oats and wheat mature. I like picking apples from my family’s fruit trees, and picking and canning vegetables with my baba (that means grandmother in Ukrainian) out at her farm. And just like almost every other consumer in the city, I like the wide array of pumpkin-related products that are rushed out for purchase filling the shelves, our shopping baskets, and our bellies.
This time of year, all kinds of products come in “Limited Time Only!” pumpkin varieties. From hand lotions and shower gels, to baked goods and coffee (both pre-packaged and by-the-cup), there’s a major influx of pumpkin-related products for you to smell, taste, and buy. Bloggers and print magazine writers (just like store managers and consumer consultants) understand the public’s pumpkin-craze, so even the Internet and monthly magazine publications boast a plentiful harvest of pumpkin-related blog posts and articles for us to read, clip out, print, and make ourselves. From décor to desserts, there’s some way to get a little DIY pumpkin flavour into your day even if you’re not keen on shelling out nearly six dollars for a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks–and you definitely don’t have to look very hard or for very long to find it.
My mum has a subscription to a couple of different home and garden magazines including Canadian Living. This October issue’s food section boasts a feature article written by food specialist Irene Fong and the Canadian Living Test Kitchen about turning harvest-time staples into “easy-to-make desserts your family will love” (151). After skimming through this month’s recipe offerings I decided I had better pick something time management friendly for the weekend, and decided to make their Pumpkin Amaretti Mousse. It sounded quick and uncomplicated, and best of all, the recipe required no cook time! But when it came time to collect all the ingredients for the dessert, I realised I couldn’t find amaretti biscuits at any of the grocers I tried, and I didn’t think I’d have time this weekend to bake a batch of specialty almond cookies, either. So I ended up settling for a package of almond gingersnap cookies, which like amaretti are almond-based, but have a nice spice quality that I thought would work well with the pumpkin and spice flavours of the mousse.
The writers and kitchen testers at Canadian Living weren’t kidding, this recipe is really quick and easy to prepare, and more than satisfies a person’s seasonal pumpkin spice flavour cravings. The only thing I would recommend readers keep in mind when making this dessert is that the finished product is rather sweet, so smaller portions might be the way to go when dishing up servings. I bet that this would work great as a simple dessert to finish a Sunday family dinner, and would pair nicely with an after dinner cup of strong coffee. (Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t appear to be listed on Canadian Living’s website just yet, so I will include the recipe under the Read More link).
Pumpkin Amaretti Mousse (Canadian Living, October 2014, p. 152)
by Irene Fong and the Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 ¼ hours
Makes: 8 servings
- 1 cup pure pumpkin purée
- 1 cup plain 10% Mediterranean-style yogurt (such as Liberté Méditerranée Plain 10%)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Pinch of ground cloves and nutmeg each
- 1 1/3 cups whipping cream (35%)
- 2 amaretti cookies, cut in crumbs (about ¼ cup)
In a food processor, blend together pumpkin purée, yogurt, all but 1 tbsp of the sugar, the cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, cloves and nutmeg until smooth; scrape into a large bowl. Set aside.
Whip 1 cup of the whipping cream with the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form; fold into the pumpkin and yogurt mixture. Spoon into 8 small cups or ramekins; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, for about 2 hours. (Make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
Whip the remaining cream until stiff peaks form. Spoon over mousse; sprinkle with amaretti cookie crumbs.