This is my family's favorite Thanksgiving dessert, even over pie. The combination of custard and cardamom, gingerbread and pumpkin combine to make a heavenIy dessert. I was in a zone one day making desserts for the holiday, and I just couldn't stop myself!!! —sboulton
package gingerbread mix (or prepared loaf)
can of pumpkin (or fresh that has been cooked)
•Bake the gingerbread according to package directions. Cool completely.
•In a 2 qt heavy saucepan, bring the 2 cups of milk, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the cardamom and the scraped vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Slowly pour 1 cup of the hot milk , whisking constantly, into the egg yolk-sugar mixture in order to temper the eggs so they don't curdle.
Pour the milk-yolk mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Do not boil.
Remove from heat and strain the mixture through a fine wire sieve into a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl into an ice bath.
When cool, cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours, until ready to use. When the mixture sets, you are ready to assemble your trifle. (This step can be done a day or two in advance of assembly.)
•In saucepan over medium heat, combine the pumpkin, brown and white sugar, tapioca starch, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt and cook for 5 minutes until the spices no longer taste raw, and the starch has dissolved. Set aside to cool. It will thicken as it cools. (This step can also be done in advance of assembly)
•To Assemble the trifle begin by slicing pieces of gingerbread into two inch fingers and line the bottom of a large, clear straight-sided trifle bowl
•Sprinkle Triple Sec or Cointreau over the gingerbread and let it soak in.
•Spoon a layer of pumpkin mixture over the gingerbread. Then spread a layer of the custard over the pumpkin.
•Next take some of the mandarin oranges and place in a ring around the edges of the pudding so that you can see it through the sides of the bowl.
•Repeat the layers of pumpkin, custard and mandarin oranges.
•Before serving, whip the cream with the sugar and spread a decorative layer over the entire top. Crumble the gingersnaps over the whipped cream. Chill until serving.