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      Pumpkin Mousse with Walnut-Toffee Crunch, 11/25/13

      Capi Peck

      Trio's

      Yields 6 servings

      Crunch:

      1 c. walnuts

      3/4 c. toffee bits

      1/2 T. packed dark brown sugar

      1/8 t. salt

      2 T. butter, melted

      Mousse:

      2 c. chilled heavy cream, divided

      3/4 c. sugar

      5 egg yolks

      1 1/4 c. canned pumpkin

      2 T. dark rum

      1 1/2 t. vanilla

      1 t. cinnamon

      1/2 t. ground ginger

      1/4 t. ground nutmeg

      1/4 t. salt

      1/4 t. ground allspice

      Preheat oven to 350o. Line a sheet pan with foil and butter foil.

      For crunch, toss nuts, toffee bits, sugar and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Add butter and toss to coat. Place mixture in center of prepared sheet pan; pat to a single layer. Bake at 350o until toffee bits are soft but hold their shape,, about 15 minutes. Cool crunch completely on sheet pan. Transfer to work surface; chop coarsely. Set aside.

      For mousse, whisk 1 cup of the heavy cream with the sugar and egg yolks in heavy saucepan to blend. Stir over medium-low heat until thickened to pudding consistency, about 10 minutes (DO NOT BOIL). Transfer mixture to large bowl. Mix in pumpkin, rum, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and allspice. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

      Beat remaining 1 cup heavy cream in an electric mixer until cream holds peaks. Set aside 1 c of the whipped cream for garnish. Cover and chill. Fold remaining whipped cream into pumpkin mixture. Cover and refrigerate mousse at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.

      In 6 decorative glasses, layer 1/3 cup mousse and generous T. crunch. Repeat 2 more times (some crunch may be left). If necessary, whisk reserved 1/2 cup whipped cream to soft peaks. Garnish with whipped cream and a very light sprinkle of cinnamon.

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