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Triple silken pumpkin torte

Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 10
Triple silken pumpkin torte
(Los Angeles Times)

Pumpkin custard layer

1

Roll out the pie crust dough to a 10-inch circle (one-fourth-inch thick) and press it in the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. The extra dough on the sides will compensate for shrinkage. Bake at the temperature your recipe indicates until golden brown and cooked through. Cool completely before filling with custard.

2

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the brown sugar, pumpkin, sour cream, heavy cream and brandy.

3

Pour the mixture into the springform pan on top of the cooled pastry. Cover the pan with buttered aluminum foil and bake until the custard is just set, about 1 hour.

4

Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature. The recipe can be prepared to this point 2 days in advance and refrigerated.

Cream layer

1

Combine the heavy cream and creme fraiche in a large mixing bowl and beat until it starts to thicken and swell. Add the sugar and maple sugar and continue beating until stiff.

2

Spread in an even layer on top of the pumpkin custard and refrigerate.

Caramel pumpkin chiboust

1

Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

2

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger in a mixing bowl. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and the lemon juice and cook over high heat until the mixture turns caramel color, at about 335 degrees. This will take about 4 to 5 minutes.

3

Place the remaining 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Stir, then let it sit for 1 minute.

4

Remove the caramel from the stove and stir the brown sugar mixture into it. Add the softened gelatin and stir to dissolve. Whisk in the canned pumpkin and set aside.

5

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they foam. Add the cream of tartar and about 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat. Continue to beat, adding the remaining sugar in a slow, steady stream. Beat until the egg whites are stiff and shiny, about 2 minutes.

6

Lighten the warm pumpkin mixture by folding in one-third of the beaten egg whites using a balloon whisk. Pour the remaining egg whites over the top and carefully fold them into the pumpkin mixture using a rubber spatula. Fold in the whipped cream.

7

Carefully pour the chiboust mixture over the whipped cream layer and smooth the top. Refrigerate for 2 hours until set. This can be made a day in advance.

8

To serve, gently unmold the torte from the springform pan and set it on a plate. Garnish with additional whipped cream if desired.

From Sherry Yard. Use your own pie crust recipe to make the dough for the bottom layer described in the first step.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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