This pumpkin meringue parfait is a delicious dairy free alternative to pumpkin pie that can be made gluten free and vegan for holiday guests!
I like to switch things up every Thanksgiving and Christmas, but one thing that will never change is pumpkin desserts. I live for pumpkin pie but admittedly never really eat the crust. Nor do I eat the whipped cream. I am a pumpkin pie filling purest and look forward to that creamy dreamy filling all year long. So this holiday, I decided to get right to the goods with this Pumpkin Meringue Parfait 3 Ways.
Pumpkin Meringue Parfait
When I’m entertaining, I like to ensure there’s something for everyone at the party. These days, everyone has a different dietary restriction so I like making desserts that are customizable for everyone. This Pumpkin Meringue Parfait is a perfect Holiday treat exactly for this reason.
The original Pumpkin Meringue Parfait for those of us without restriction involves a dairy-free pumpkin mousse, a ginger snap and date crust, and a torched marshmallowy meringue topping. OMG I dream about this dessert.
Pumpkin Meringue Parfait Variations
The Vegan and Gluten Free option is all about the pumpkin mousse in all it’s glory. I suggest adding a little bit of pecans on top for some extra crunch.
The Gluten Free option is the mousse with the meringue sans ginger snap crust.
And finally, the Vegan option is the mousse with the crust but no meringue.
Seriously, the holidays should be simple and this makes entertaining a lot less stressful. Plus, since everyone gets something of their own, the dessert feels personalized and we all love to have our own special treat.
What are you planning to make for dessert for friends and family with dietary restrictions? Do you usually make more than one dessert or just keep it simple?
Have you tried my pumpkin meringue parfait?
Leave me a comment below with some of your family’s favourite Thanksgiving recipes!
- 2 cups cashews soaked and overnight in water in the fridge
- 1 can pumpkin puree 15 oz can
- 1 can full fat coconut milk refrigerated overnight, 13.5 oz can
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil melted
- 1/4 cup dates minced
- 2/3 cup vegan ginger snap cookie crumbs or another vegan cookie of your choice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Pecans toasted
To a powerful blender or food processor, puree the cashews until they reach a grainy paste like consistency.
Carefully remove the cream from the top of the coconut milk can (discarding the water) and puree that into the cashews along with the pumpkin, maple, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt and coconut oil. Puree until very smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Meanwhile, in a small food processor or the same blender, pulse the dates until they break up into a very fine mince, then add in the cookie crumbs, cinnamon and coconut oil. Process until it reaches a sticky crust like consistency.
Finally, fill a medium to large saucepot with an inch of water over medium high heat and bring to a simmer. Place the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat-proof bowl and set over the pot of simmering water. Using a whisk or a hand-mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Continue to beat until the mixture turns white and you start seeing wave like patterns in the meringue and your mixture reaches a minimum of 160 F. At this point you should have a very thick, glossy meringue that when you feel it between your fingers, you feel no sugar granules.
Transfer the bowl to your stand mixer or simply remove from the heat if you’re using a hand mixer. Add the vanilla and beat on high until stiff peaks form, about another 3-6 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag or a large plastic bag with the corner cut out.
ULTIMATE OPTION: Start by layering in a few spoonfuls of the crust in the bottom of a serving glass. Using a piping bag, pipe the mousse half way up the serving dish. Add another layer of the crust and finish with more mousse. Using another piping bag, pipe the meringue onto the mousse and use a blow torch to toast the meringue.
VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE OPTION: Using a piping bag, pipe the mousse into a serving dish and top with some crushed pecans.
GLUTEN FREE OPTION: Using a piping bag, pipe the mousse into a serving dish and top with the meringue. Use a blow torch to toast the meringue.
VEGAN OPTION: Start by layering in a few spoonfuls of the crust in the bottom of a serving glass. Using a piping bag, pipe the mousse half way up the serving dish. Add another layer of the crust and finish with more mousse and a sprinkle of crushed pecans.