This is an example of a successful failure. These were supposed to be something completely different: a three layer meringue cake with pumpkin mousse and drizzled caramel. But unfortunately I couldn’t get pumpkin mousse to act like chocolate mousse, where it is solid enough to be able to stand on its own without spreading out everywhere.
So I had to come up with something new. I probably could have made ice cream as well but I decided on doing frozen bars. The crust is made from finely ground ginger snap cookies and melted butter. I then layered the pumpkin mousse with crumbled meringue and salted caramel sauce.
While the end product is completely different, it still tastes pretty damn delicious. I used the meringues that I had made for the cake but you can easily buy meringue cookies and crumble them.
I used MI-DEL Swedish Style Ginger Snaps for the crust. So really all you have to make is the mousse. You can buy everything else. Make sure that you freeze the bars overnight and that the dish is completely flat in the freezer.
Caramel-Meringue Pumpkin Bars
Prep: 25 minutes
Servings: 30 bars
6 egg yolks
1 cup powdered sugar
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1.5 cups pumpkin puree
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1.5 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Amaretto or Disaronno
2.5 cups heaving whipping cream
10 ounces ginger snap cookies (or about 2 cups finely ground in a food processor)
Plain meringue cookies (enough so that you have 2 cups when crumbled)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Pinch of finely ground sea salt
Salted caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought, doesn’t matter)-to taste
- Grease a large casserole dish (I used a 13×10 inch dish) with butter or shortening.
- Place the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and beat in the powdered sugar until the mixture has doubled. Add the mascarpone cheese and beat until blended. Add the pumpkin puree, spices, and Amaretto or Disaronno and beat on low speed until incorporated.
- In a stainless steel or glass bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form and it holds its shape. Fold the cream into the pumpkin mixture and set aside.
- Put the ginger snap cookies in a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. Mix with the melted butter and press into the prepared casserole dish, using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a measuring cup.
- Pour half of the pumpkin mixture on top of the ginger snap crust and sprinkle half of the crumbled meringues on top and then drizzle with caramel.
- Pour the rest of the pumpkin mixture on top, sprinkle the rest of the crumbled meringues on top and then drizzle with caramel sauce again.
- Put in the freezer, making sure the dish lays completely flat. Freeze overnight before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
Make sure to grease the bottom of the casserole dish! I didn’t and the bars were hard to get out without leaving behind the crust.