Pumpkin Parfait

Craig Lee for the New York Times

Craig Lee for the New York Times

8 to 10 servings

20 to 25 minutes, plus freezing

This dessert is perfect for harried Thanksgiving cooks. There's no baking involved and it requires minimal work, most of which you can do ahead of time. All you really need is some freezer space (for the pumpkin purée) and maybe a helper to assist in layering the parfaits (that unruly kid who’s terrorizing your living room will be perfect; use plastic cups).   


1 (15-ounce) can puréed pumpkin(about 1 3/4 cups)
2 cups heavy cream, divided
¾ cup whole milk
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons rum


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, 3/4 cup cream, milk, 3/4 cup sugar, spices and rum. Line an 8- or 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap, and pour the mixture into the pan. Wrap the whole pan in plastic, and freeze it in the coldest part of your freezer for at least 4 to 6 hours, until it is frozen solid; it can keep for as long as two days.

2. Remove the pan from the freezer about 20 minutes before serving.

3. Whip the remaining cream with the 1 tablespoon sugar. Refrigerate while completing the dessert.

4. Working quickly to avoid as much melting as possible, cut the frozen pumpkin mixture into small cubes and purée them in a food processor until they are smooth. In small parfait or wine glasses, layer 2 tablespoons pumpkin mixture, then a rounded tablespoon whipped cream, alternating for 4 layers. Serve immediately.

Recipe published in The New York Times


DessertMark Bittman