Thanksgiving Recipe: Pumpkin Mousse Tart

With Thanksgiving fast approaching we wanted to share a recipe that’s familiar but maybe just a little different than normal. For me, pumpkin pie is great, but with a few changes we can create something that feels like Thanksgiving even though it’s just a little different.

Below is our recipe for Pumpkin Mousse Tart.  This tart is a nice alternative to traditional pumpkin pie because it is lighter and airier.  I like to serve this with Vintner’s Reserve Riesling or Late Harvest Chardonnay.

Riesling is always a nice choice for Thanksgiving – it can be served with dinner and is great with sweet potatoes, but it can also carry over to dessert.  I actually serve Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at our Thanksgiving dinner, that way there is always something for everybody.  What are some of your favorite wines to serve at Thanksgiving?

Check out some more of our favorite recipes. And if you’re still thinking about how you’re going to cook the bird this week, read the results of the Harold McGee Turkey Experiment.

Pumpkin Mousse Tart
Serve with Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Riesling
Serves 16


  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree (or canned pumpkin puree)
  • 3 cups cream, divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 6 gelatin sheets
  • 1 tart shell (recipe below)


  1. In a medium sauce pot, combine the pumpkin puree, 1 cup cream, milk, pumpkin pie spice, sugar and honey. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Meanwhile, soak the gelatin sheets in cold water for 2 minutes.
  3. Once the pumpkin mixture has come to a boil, remove gelatin from the water and squeeze out as much of the excess water as possible. Add gelatin to pumpkin mixture, remove from heat and stir to dissolve the gelatin.
  4. Transfer mixture to a blender and purée until smooth. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour.
  5. Whip the remaining 2 cups of cream to stiff peaks and fold into the pumpkin mixture. Pour the mixture into the cooled tart shell and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the tart dough:

  • 8 oz. butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter until light and airy. Add the powdered sugar and salt and continue mixing for 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until smooth. Gradually add the flour and mix on low, just until the dough comes together and the flour is incorporated. Divide the dough into thirds, wrap each third in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Roll out dough on a floured surface to approximately ¼ -inch thickness. Press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan, with removable bottom, and cut off any extra dough from around the edges. Chill the tart dough again for 1 hour. Bake the chilled tart dough in a preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Remove and cool at room temperature for later use.

**This recipe makes enough dough for 3 tarts. If all the dough is not being used at once, it can be frozen before being rolled out or rolled out and frozen in the mold.