There are days when developing recipes comes easily to me. The creative juices are flowing, I’m finding all the ingredients I need, the photo shoot is a breeze, and the recipe just comes together exactly how I envisioned it.
And then there are days when developing recipes feels excruciatingly difficult – my mind is all over the place, I can’t decide what I want to make, the photo shoot takes twice as long, and the end result is nothing like what I’d planned.
Well, believe it or not, these Paleo Pumpkin Pie Mousse Cups were created on one of those latter days, but they’re so good, I think I can overlook the painstaking process! These dreamy, deconstructed cups of pumpkin pie mousse are dairy-free and egg-free and could be enjoyed right out of the ramekin as is. But, I’m betting you won’t want to skip this insanely delicious crumble topping! The sweetness and crunch of the topping compliments the creaminess and spice of the mousse, resulting in a guilt-free AIP treat for this Halloween weekend!
Now that I’m long past my trick-or-treating days, Halloween has taken on a very different feel. Instead of eagerly donning a costume and braving the elements to load up on way too much candy, I’m putting on slippers, cozying up with my husband for “Stranger Things” Season 2, and snacking on much less sugar. And while trick-or-treating around the neighborhood and diving into the candy stash was fun, I think I much prefer being warm, dry, and inside enjoying an adult Halloween dessert – such as these delicious Paleo Pumpkin Pie Mousse Cups!
My frustrations in creating this recipe actually had nothing to do with the mousse itself. It came together on the first try and turned out even better than I had anticipated. No, my dilemma stemmed from way too many ideas for a garnish or some sort of addition to these little desserts to make them “Halloweenish,” like I did with last year’s Almond Butter “Boo” Bites. I was envisioning a spooky spider web design or a bat or something black. I played around with making my own carob bark and carob sauce, but neither came together as I had hoped. The carob flavor was also much too strong and masked the delicate pumpkin spice that I love so much.
In the end, I scrapped the kitschy Halloween topping and instead traded it in for something even better and way more versatile – a topping of coconut, dates, and cinnamon that transformed this recipe from simple pumpkin mousse to pumpkin PIE mousse! The topping adds that extra pizzazz and transforms this treat into something indulgent enough for Halloween, but classy enough for Thanksgiving or Christmas. The topping was so good, in fact, that I found myself snacking on it by itself! (Hint: That probably means I’ll be incorporating it into several future recipes! And one batch makes plenty of extra coconut clusters, so you’ll be all set!)
Now that I’ve elaborated on my creative process for this new Paleo Pumpkin Pie Mousse Cups recipe, I should probably shed a bit more light on how to actually make it. The key ingredient here is gelatin. I used Great Lakes powdered grass-fed beef gelatin and it worked like a charm. You’ve seen gelatin in a few of my other dessert recipes, like my Paleo Pumpkin Blondies, but it’s always been in the form of a so-called “gelatin egg.” This time, the gelatin blooms in coconut milk first and then gets mixed into a simmering pumpkin/coconut milk/honey/spice mixture. Instead of being baked, the mousse cups simply get refrigerated, where the gelatin will set and create a super creamy, luxurious texture.
Note that this dessert is meant to be made ahead. It takes at least a couple hours of refrigeration to achieve ultimate mousse status, so prepare these the night before or the morning of Halloween so that your treat will be ready for the evening festivities.
Since the Paleo Pumpkin Pie Mousse Cups take some time to set, you’ll have LOADS of extra time to make the coconut crumble topping. The ingredients get blitzed in a food processor and then baked like granola. (Try not to eat all of the topping before the mousse cups are ready! I was having a hard time not devouring the whole batch!)
And that, my friends, is my latest Fall dessert recipe for you in a nutshell! Dust off your ramekins and give my Paleo Pumpkin Pie Mousse Cups a try this Halloween and then again at Thanksgiving! (Because really, you can never have too much pumpkin pie!) Here’s to a safe, happy, and treat-filled Halloween!
- 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
- 1 14-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk, reserving ¼ cup liquid
- ¼ cup raw honey
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ⅓ cup coconut flour
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 Medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- Sprinkle gelatin evenly over ¼ cup coconut milk in a wide, shallow bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the rest of the coconut milk and mousse ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, until bubbling. Whisk in the gelatin and remove from heat.
- Pour mousse mixture into 4 ramekins. Once mousse begins to set on top, cover with plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight, until completely set.
- To make the topping, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a small baking sheet with parchment.
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor until the mixture is crumbly, but holds together.
- Spread crumble out on baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- Let cool completely, then serve over mousse.
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