This Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie is an easy last minute dessert you can put together if you're short of time. Honestly, I like it a tad more than regular pumpkin pie. Delicious pumpkin custard is layered with whipped cream, crushed gingersnap cookies, toasted hazelnuts and a drizzle of sea salt caramel sauce. Your guests will savor each bite and scrape the bowl at the finish!
What Are Deconstructed Desserts ?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word deconstruct as the process where you "take apart or examine in order to reveal the basis or composition" of something. Of course their definition references Literary works, but in the cooking world the meaning of the word has taken on a whole new dimension. The result is a popular new trend created by Spanish Chef Ferran Adria as per spoonuniversity.com.
My first introduction to this concept was while watching a televised cooking competition. The concept sparked my interest and I have been hooked since then. I find this an easy, creative and fun way to make and serve desserts, especially when in a hurry!
The Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie Recipe
The key when making a deconstructed dessert is to retain the essence of the dish you are recreating. The biggest change here will be that the pumpkin filling will provide the base for the dessert. You can make the filling using my individual-pumpkin-pies recipe, or use store bought premade filling.
By adding a gingersnap cookie, I'm keeping something crispy in my dessert, similar to the crust. Whereas the crust is on the bottom, my cookie sits atop. It adds the texture that the crust would have but with a slightly different flavor.
A crust is buttery and flaky with a mild taste, whereas gingersnaps are thin and crunchy with a sharper taste. We do want the filling to remain the star of the show so a small sized cookie like this is enough to tease us into thinking we're eating a pie and the ginger flavor helps by gently enhancing the flavor of all the spices in the filling.
The Whipped Cream
As whipped cream is often eaten on a pie, adding some to our creation helps us stay close to the desserts origins and also assists in blending the flavors of the filling and gingersnaps.
The crushed toasted hazelnuts contain hints of the same sweet and earthy fall flavors that the pumpkin does. This creates a perfect balance to the sweet cream and gingersnaps.
The Caramel Sauce
A sweet drizzle of Ghirardelli Sea Salt Caramel carries and elevates the tones of the brown sugar in our pie filling.
Everything combines into a beautiful blend that contains the best of fall flavors and colors in just a few minutes.
Set up a small dessert table and have these deconstructed pies, some of my bread-pudding-with-praline-sauce in individual serving cups, the more traditional individual-pumpkin-pies and anything else you're cooking all set up and you'll wow your guests!
Don't forget to drop some pictures from your beautiful Thanksgiving table!
Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie
- 2 cups Pumpkin Pie Filling
- ½ cup Whipped Cream Topping*
- 4 Tbsps Ghirardelli Sea Salt Caramel Sauce
- 4 Tbsps Roasted Crushed Hazelnuts
- 4 Gingersnap Cookies
- ½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 tbsps Powdered Sugar
- For the pumpkin custard filling I used my super easy recipe for the Individual Pumpkin Pies on this blog but feel free to use your favorite recipe or make it even easier and buy store bought filling.
- For the Whipped Topping, just mix the cream and sugar in your electric mixer till it's lightly fluffy and holds its own shape and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before using (SEE NOTES)
- Lightly toast the hazelnuts and crush by putting them in a ziplock bag and beating them gently with a rolling pin (SEE NOTES)
- Just portion the pumpkin filling in 4 containers, top with your chilled cream, drizzle some caramel sauce and top with a sprinkle of the nuts and a cookie (SEE NOTES)