We love gourmet pies, but when served in a jar, we find them extra adorable. Whether it's the simplicity, the individual serving sizes or the combination of layers, textures and flavors, jars make sweets taste all the more delicious.
Pichet Ong, an executive pastry chef of Sugar and Plumm and judge of Food Network's "Sugar Dome," showed us how to recreate his take on pumpkin pie in a jar. By layering spiced roasted pumpkin puree, Oreo cookie crumbs, cheesecake mousse and whipped cream into a little mason jar and topping it with caramel sauce and lemon zest, Chef Pichet ups your average pumpkin pie.
Use them as centerpieces, serve them for dessert or give them away in goodie-bags. Whatever you choose, guests will love these fun and decorative holiday treats.
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Pumpkin Pie in a Jar
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce
- 3/4 cup sandwich cookie crumbs, such as Oreo's
- Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Puree (recipe follows): 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground clove, 1 small pumpkin (about 2 pounds) cut in half
- 1 1/2 cups Cheesecake Mousse (recipe follows): 1/2 cup goat cheese, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 gelatin sheet softened in water, 6 ounces room temperature cream cheese, 1/2 cup creme fraiche, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup whipped cream, optional
- 1 lemon
- Eight 3-ounce jars
- For the Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Puree: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Toss together the brown sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove and sprinkle on top of the pumpkin halves. Wrap them in aluminum foil and roast until fork tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool in the foil for 2 hours. Once cooled, scoop out the pumpkin flesh with a fork, along with any residual juices, and puree in a food processor until smooth. Reserve at room temperature or refrigerate, covered, for up to a week.
- For the Cheesecake Mousse: Melt the goat cheese, honey and salt slowly over a warm water bath, whisking occasionally until the mixture is warm and smooth. Remove from the heat and add the softened gelatin to the warm goat cheese mixture. Let cool to room temperature. Using the paddle of a mixer, cream the cream cheese with the creme fraiche and granulated sugar until light. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Combine the goat cheese mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Use half of the whipped cream to lighten the mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Use the mousse right away to fill into the jars, or refrigerate for up to 5 days. Fold the mousse over a couple times before using if assembling the next day.
- For the Jars: Fill the bottom of each jar with 1/2 tablespoon caramel sauce, followed by 2 teaspoons cookie crumbs, swirling the jar around with each step to ensure even layering to be visible from outside. Tap the jar lightly on the work surface to pack the layers. Top the crumb layer of each jar with 2 tablespoons Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Puree, followed by 2 tablespoons Cheesecake Mousse. Tap the jar lightly on the work surface to pack the layers. Repeat the process one more time, ending with the mousse layer on top, or leaving 1/4 inch for an optional whipped cream topping. Using a plane zester, grate lemon zest over the top. Refrigerate the jars for 2 hours before serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.