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A pumpkin tart covered in meringue cones
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Bourbon Pumpkin Mousse Pie with Candied Pecans

Light and airy pumpkin mousse, with a good splash of bourbon, in a rich chocolate cookie shell topped with whipped cream swirls and crunchy candied pecans.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Autumn, Fall, Thanksgiving
Servings: 8 -10
Author: Emily Clifton


For the crust:

  • 10 oz 2 packets graham crackers (285g)
  • cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar 90g
  • 3 tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder 20g
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • A pinch ground nutmeg
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter melted (140g)
  • ¼ tsp coarse kosher salt

For the mousse:

  • ¼ cup bourbon 60ml
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp 2 packets unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar 150g
  • cups one 15-oz can canned pumpkin puree (430g)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup sour cream 60ml
  • For the topping:
  • cups heavy cream 350ml
  • 2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon or cocoa powder for dusting or chocolate shavings
  • Candied Pecans optional


Make the crust:

  • Heat oven to 325ºF/ 160ºC. In a food processor, combine all dry ingredients; process until finely ground, then drizzle in the melted butter until the crumbs are coated. Press mixture onto bottom and sides of a 10-inch tart pan or pie dish. Bake until set, 12 to 15 minutes. Set crust aside to cool.

Make the filling:

  • In a small bowl, place bourbon, vanilla and 2 tablespoons water. Sprinkle gelatin powder over liquid; set aside to set for 10 minutes while you whip the eggs and make sugar syrup.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, start beating eggs on medium-low speed until fluffy.
  • Make the sugar syrup while eggs are whisking. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat combine 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until temperature registers 245°F/120°C (firm-ball stage) on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes. When the sugar’s ready, turn mixer to high speed and carefully drizzle sugar mixture into eggs in a thin stream (you can pour it into a mixing jug first for easy pouring); continue to beat until mixture increases in volume and is pale yellow, about 5 minutes.
  • When the egg mixture is nearly ready, you'll need to soften the gelatine. Heat the bowl carefully in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time, until it's liquid. (If you'd prefer, you can heat the gelatine over a pot of boiling water on the stovetop.) Turn mixer back to low; add gelatin mixture to egg mixture. Add pumpkin puree, the spices, salt, and sour cream; mix to combine. Pour filling into crust; refrigerate until set, 4 hours or overnight.
  • To serve, whisk heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl until stiff. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the top of the pie with a spatula). Dot with candied pecans. Serve chilled.
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