This is one of those desserts that looks kinda freaky and –dare I say it?- ugly, especially if you don’t know what it is.
However, as with many things in life, the most freakish are the most delicious.
And, pssss, I will let you in on a little secret: this tiramisu (yes, that is what this strange-looking thing is) is the yummiest thing you will ever taste. It is a pumpkin pie turned into a tiramisu, which makes it even more delicious and more decadent! Just imagine a homemade pumpkin puree loaded with spices combined with a soothing mascarpone cream into one lovely, orange-coloured mousse! Add to that some heavenly Belgian peperkoek (The Belgian version of gingerbread, only way better) soaked in Amaretto and coffee and for the finishing touch I conjured up some crunchy coffee-glazed pecan praline.
I mean, If you aren’t drooling right now, something is clearly wrong with you.
As you can see, the combination of orange and brown hues is doomed not to look very appetizing, but if you do would like to try to make it look more appealing, you can always opt for individual glasses to serve the tiramisu in. But I always find that too fiddly to spend my time on.
Another great reason why you have to make this pumpkin pie tiramisu is because it is the ideal dessert to eat when it is cold outside. Just imagine sitting in your sofa, staring at your wonderfully decorated Christmas tree, while gobbling down some of this tiramisu…
Doesn’t this scenario make you want to jump for joy?
Ha! Thought so!
Here are the instructions:
For the homemade pumpkin puree:
- 1 small butternut squash (peeled, deseeded and diced)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp Amaretto
- 1 tsp corn flour
For the mascarpone mixture:
- 250gr of mascarpone
- 400gr homemade pumpkin puree
For the coffee-soaked peperkoek:
- 1 pack of good-quality peperkoek
- A huge cup of strong coffee
- 5tbsp Amaretto
For the coffee-glazed pecan praline
- 75gr pecan nuts
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- Pinch of salt
- Cook the butternut in a pot of boiling water until soft.
- Drain and mash together the butternut with the spices and maple syrup. Put the mix back on a very low heat. In a small bowl, mix together the corn flour with the Amaretto. Pour the mix into the mashed butternut and stir.
- Spoon the butternut puree into a bowl and refrigerate until cooled.
- Mix together the mascarpone with 400gr of the butternut puree. Give it a quick taste to see whether the mix is sweet enough. If not, add some more maple syrup. Set aside.
- Start assembling your tiramisu by dunking the peperkoek slices into your coffee and amaretto mix. Put the soaked peperkoek on the bottom of your dish.
- Spoon half the pumpkin pie mascarpone mixture onto the peperkoek layer.
- Now repeat the dunking process and put another layer of peperkoek on top of your mascarpone cream.
- Put in the fridge overnight.
- To make your pecan praline, preheat the oven to 180°C and chop the nuts into rough chunks. Put a pan on medium heat and add a heaped tablespoon of caster sugar and wait until it starts to caramelize. Add the coffee granules and the splash of water. Stir in the chopped pecans and add a pinch of salt. Transfer the coffee-caramel-coated pecans onto some baking parchment and put in the oven for 5 minutes until it starts to smell nice (the smell can be best described as “toasty aromatic”. If it more resembles “burnt toasty” you know they have been in there for too long.)
- Transfer the nuts to a chopping board and chop them up finely. Scatter them on top of your tiramisu. Dig in!