Pumpkin Tiramisu

Tiramisu is one of my favorite Italian desserts.  Translated, it’s the “pick me up” dessert as it normally contains espresso mixed with liquor.  Its lightly sweetened with just enough richness to feel indulgent.  The touch of liquor, whether Amaretto, Kahlua, Frangelico or Rum enhances the taste of the gentle mascarpone and ladyfingers for a wonderful after dinner dessert.

While I love cheesecakes in every flavor imaginable, the lightness of the Tiramisu makes it more welcoming to me after a full dinner.  Traditionally the ladyfingers or sponge cake are dipped in a mixture of espresso and liquor with a dusting of cocoa powder.  During the holidays, I’ve also used Panettone sliced for the cake layers.  In the spring I’ve made it with mixed berries and now for the fall and Thanksgiving holiday, pumpkin!

Some variations use eggs, either raw or cooked.  This recipe has no eggs and no baking which makes it quick and easy to pull together.  Just make sure to prepare it one day ahead to marry the flavors and set up nicely.  And that to me is a plus as I love make-ahead desserts!

Pumpkin Tiramisu

Adapted from Cookies from Italy

1 ½ cups chilled organic whipping cream

¾ cup sugar

1 8oz container mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur

1 7 oz package ladyfingers and ½ of another

2 oz  Amaretto cookies, crushed

In a medium size bowl, beat whipping cream and sugar until peaks form, set aside.  In a large mixing bow, beat mascarpone cheese, pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg beating until combined well and smooth.  Stir in the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture, blending well.

To assemble:  Quickly dip the ladyfingers into the amaretto and line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.  Dip the ladyfingers just to moisten, not get totally soaked.  Break some of the ladyfingers to fit completely.  Spread half of the filling over the ladyfingers smoothing evenly.  Repeat with the second layer of amaretto dipped ladyfingers and top with the remaining filling.  Smooth and cover tightly in plastic wrap, then foil.  Refrigerate overnight.

To unmold, run a knife around the inside edge of the pan.  Release the pan sides and sprinkle the top with the crushed Amaretto cookies.  Serves 8.

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.


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