I found this great recipe in the Thanksgiving Special bon appetit November 2008. Bon appetit describes this dessert as a cross between a trifle and tiramisu. You should make the trifle at least one day ahead, 2 days preferably to let the flavors meld or as I say “moosh”.
The most time consuming part of the recipe is making the praline. The praline recipe yields enough to make 2 trifles. The creamy layers and pumpkin layers are very simple to make and the whole trifle once the praline is successfully completed is very easy to do.
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup half and half
1-1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2/3 cups pecan halves (about 6 oz.) (I used pecan pieces because that’s what I had)
2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1 8 oz. container chilled mascarpone cheese (I found this at Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 – 15 oz. can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (I used already ground)
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 – 3 oz. packages of soft ladyfingers. (I bought a 4.75 oz. box of soft lady fingers at Trader Joe’s and it was enough for 1 trifle)
4-1/2 tablespoons of dark rum, divided
Praline/ Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Bring both sugars and half and half to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium high heat, whisking to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat ot medium-low and simmer 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Add butter, vanilla, and salt. Attach candy thermometer to pan. Simmer without stirring until temperature registers 260 degrees F, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately mix in pecans. Transfer to prepared sheet, spreading in a single layer. Cool completely. Chop into 1/4 inch pieces.
Mascarpone Cream/ Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in large bowl until firm peaks form. Set aside 1/2 cup mascarpone cream for pumpkin filling.
Filling/ Whisk pumpkin, brown sugar, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk in reserved 1/2 cup mascarpone cream.
Spread 1/3 cup mascarpone cream over bottom of 8×5 inch trifle dish (12-14 cup capacity). Place layer of lady fingers over cream. Sprinkle 1-1/2 Tablespoons of rum over. Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin filling over ladyfingers, spreading to edges. Sprinkle 1/3 cup praline over. Spread 1 cup mascarpone cream over. Cover with another layer of lady fingers. Sprinkle with 1-1/2 tablespoons rum, then spread 1 cup pumpkin filling over. Sprinkle 1/2 cup praline over. Repeat 1 more time with 1 cup mascarpone cream, lady fingers, rum, 1 cup pumpkin filling and 1/2 cup praline. Spread remaining mascarpone cream on top. Cover and chill overnight. DO AHEAD. Can be made 2 days ahead.
Uncover trifle. Sprinkle 1 cup praline decoratively over top (reserving any remaining praline for another use)
My guests really enjoyed this trifle and I will make it again!
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