I think we can all agree that no Thanksgiving dessert table is complete without pie. Pumpkin, pecan, apple; no matter what your preference, it’s not Thanksgiving without a decadent slice to complete the day’s feast. But between the turkey, stuffing, and array of homemade casseroles and side dishes that grace our table every year, it can often feel nearly impossible to find the time or space in the oven for dessert. And while there’s almost nothing I enjoy more than cooking for loved ones, too much time spent in the kitchen means less face-to-face time with the people who matter most, so this year  I’m working on a little pie shortcut.

The challenge: a pumpkin pie that requires little to no time in the oven while still featuring the most-loved elements of a classic version, and with just a touch of something special to make up for breaking tradition.

The solution: this No-Bake Pumpkin Mascarpone Pie.

Pumpkin pie traditionalists fret not, the filling stays almost true to the original —  comforting pumpkin and warm, fall spices are front and center — however to make this pie just slightly more deserving of its perch on the dessert table, I included rich, creamy mascarpone cheese. One of my guilty pleasures, and a favorite substitute for cream cheese in almost any recipe, the mascarpone adds a layer of complexity and decadence to the filling while still being subtle enough to please a crowd (even the kiddos). And since we add a little gelatin to the whipped cream, the pie sets lightly firm, allowing you to dish out impressive slices when the dessert cravings set in.

I admit, the version pictured here does require the oven, as I chose to make my pie crust from scratch and bake it in advance. You can do the same, as far out as two weeks, and freeze the fully baked crust until ready to use. Alternately, you can ditch the oven altogether and purchase a prepared crust from the store — a graham cracker crust would work beautifully here as well.

Wishing you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings!

**For lots more Thanksgiving menu inspiration, check out our full Thanksgiving hub here!**

No-Bake Pumpkin Mascarpone Pie

Serves 8

ingredients


  • 3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons water, cold
  • 1 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • pinch of ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 prepared pie crust
instructions


  1. In a small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let stand until thick. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, just until the gelatin dissolves, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, but do not let thicken.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream and confectioners' sugar until slightly thick. With the mixer on low, stream in the gelatin, then turn the mixer to high and whip until stiff. Transfer to another bowl and keep in refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the filling.
  3. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add the mascarpone and pumpkin and beat until smooth. Add the honey, spices and salt and mix until well combined.
  4. With a large spatula, carefully fold in the whipped cream, taking care not to deflate the cream. Once completely incorporated, pour the filling into a prepared pie crust; cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to overnight. Serve with crème fraîche or whipped cream and candied nuts (optional). 

 

8 comments
  1. 1
    Carlota | November 19, 2015 at 5:04 am

    This looks delish!

    http://carlotarules.wordpress.com

    Reply
  2. 2
    Vanessa @ Living in Steil | November 19, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Delicious! I love pumpkin anything and you can’t go wrong with mascarpone! I’m definitely saving this recipe for Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

    Reply
  3. 3
    Kate | November 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I am having a lot of trouble with the gelatin…even when cooled, as soon as it hits the cold cream it turns to tough strings of hardened goo. I tried putting a bit of cream into gelatin mixture first then adding to rest of cream, that hasn’t helped…just turned to lumps of tough goo instead of strips. I have now wasted an entire pint of heavy cream. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • John | November 25, 2015 at 6:47 pm

      That 4 tsp of water for the gelatin has to be a misprint — it should be more like 4 *tablespoons*, so that the heated mixture is kind of like a light syrup. My wife and I are making this now and had to adjust the water way up. Seems to work fine now.

      Reply
      • Katie Wahlman | November 26, 2015 at 11:44 am

        Hi Kate & John! I’m SO sorry about the confusion! John, you’re right – I used about 3 tablespoons of water for this recipe, but anywhere between 3-4 would work fine. The recipe has been updated above. Wishing you both a very happy Thanksgiving!

        Reply
        • Kate | November 28, 2015 at 9:17 am

          Thanks John and Katie, I ended up just adding a little cornstarch to the cream and it came out fine. Thanks for your replies and hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well!

          Reply
  4. 4
    Becky | November 27, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Thanks John. I made it using 4tablespoons of water and it turned out great! I made a crust of ginger snap crumbs and ground pecans which was a nice complement to the pumpkin.

    Reply
  5. 5
    tisha | January 2, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Is there something else I can use instead of gelatin? My daughter doesn’t anything with gelatin.
    Thank you

    Reply
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