7 Ways That Chefs Are Reinventing Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Tiramisu © John Kernick
By Justine Sterling Posted November 06, 2014

Like most components of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, pumpkin pie is often considered holy and untouchable. But maybe, just maybe, it would be fun to skip the pumpkin pie this year and try something new.

Like most components of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, pumpkin pie is often considered holy and untouchable. The family recipe is the family recipe, and no one would dare alter a single spice. But maybe, just maybe, it would be fun to skip the pumpkin pie this year and try something new.

If you’re looking to start a pumpkin pie rebellion, look no further than these seven innovative takes on pumpkin pie from chefs across the country.

Tiramisu 
F&W’s Justin Chapple came up with this nearly foolproof layered dessert of silky pumpkin mousse and coffee-dipped ladyfingers.

Funnel Cake
At the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland (owned by F&W BNC 2010 Jonathon Sawyer), pastry chef Vince Griffith serves a carnival–inspired pumpkin funnel cake. Made with a roasted pumpkin pâte à chou, the crispy, fried dessert is served drizzled with dulce de leche.

Bread Pudding
The Thanksgiving menu at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain in New York City features pumpkin bread pudding made with spiced pumpkin bread. The gooey, spiced pudding is served with maple-walnut soft-serve ice cream and an apple cider–caramel sauce.

Beignets
If you’re spending Thanksgiving in Las Vegas, you probably aren’t concerned with adhering to a traditional holiday menu anyway, so why not end the meal with some fried dough? At Comme Ça, chef Brian Howard transforms pumpkin pie into fall-spiced beignets filled with Grand Marnier pumpkin pie and covered in a pumpkin glaze.

Mousse
At Sushi Roku in Los Angeles, pastry chef Juan Sanchez poaches a whole baby pumpkin to use as an edible bowl for his mascarpone–enriched pumpkin mousse. It’s topped with a shortbread cookie and sautéed pumpkin.

Cheesecake
For a Greek spin on pumpkin pie, chefs George Pagonis and Mike Isabella came up with a sweet-tangy pumpkin cheesecake to serve at Kapnos in Washington, DC. It’s made with Greek yogurt and manouri cheese, a fresh, semisoft cheese made from the whey that is drained off during the making of feta.

Crème Brûlée
In Alexandria, Virginia, Brabo pastry chef Erin Reed does away with the crust of a traditional pumpkin pie and instead makes a crème brûlée inspired by the filling. The burnt sugar on top gives the dish some crunch.

Related: 10 Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pies
America's Best Pumpkin Pies
18 More Pumpkin Desserts

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