I could never figure out why The Dude hated turkey so much until my very first Thanksgiving with the family in New Orleans. Come back with me on this walk down memory lane...
**Picture Wayne and Garth doing their "doo-do-do-do-loot. Doo-do-do-do-loot" as we fade to a dream sequence...**
The Dude and I were newly married and stationed in
The inlaws met us at the airport and shuttled us to a hotel across the street so we could freshen up and rest a bit. By 10am, they were ready for bloody Mary's. I know what you're thinking, virgin right? WRONG. Welcome to south Louisiana people. They drink, A LOT.
By this time, I'm totally starving and can't wait till the turkey is served. We get to The Dude's great uncle's home (amazingly huge old house in a historic part of New Orleans) and I notice something. Well actually a lack of something. I didn't smell turkey.
More drinks...bloody Mary's, white wine, mimosas...cripes. It's getting hot in here. When are we gonna eat?!?!
Dinner is served. Yeah, we totally had to sit at the kiddy table. Whatever, I'm hungry. I make my plate. Hmmm, no Thanksgiving staples. No mashed potatoes, no green bean casserole, no cranberry sauce, not even a pumpkin pie. At least there is turkey!!!! *Bite* Thoughts are racing through my head...Why does this taste like two day old turkey?? Why is this gravy tasteless??
As I'm helping clean up I discover the problem. They didn't cook this turkey! They bought a fully cooked turkey in advance and just re-heated it! *Light bulb* This is why The Dude hates turkey. He's never had a real, fresh cooked turkey. Of course I have since cooked him a proper Thanksgiving meal. I do it every year now, about a week after Thanksgiving since we always go to the family Thanksgiving in New Orleans.
This is my first year being allowed to bring something to Thanksgiving. The hostess (The Dude's great aunt) always tells me not to worry about it, since I have "all those babies." I was adament this year. I just got my dinner assignment. Insult of insults. "Can you handle some Uncle Ben's long grain wild rice? Two boxes, thanks doll!" Gag. Whatever. I'm still making my dessert. People will eat it and they will love it. Uncle Ben's rice, please.
3 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin (appr. 1 1/2 envelopes)
2 T water
6 large egg yolks
1/4 C plus 2 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C plus 1 T sugar
1 quart whole milk
15 oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1 T pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1lb mascarpone (2 cups)
3 T Calvadoes or other apple brandy
1 1/4 lbs gingersnaps
*1/4 lb finely crushed
1. In small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand 5 mins. In large bowl, whisk yolks, cornstarch, sald and 1 1/2 C sugar until sugar is moistened. In large saucepan, heat the milk until just steaming. Now we temper the egg yolk mixture. We don't want to cook the eggs so we pour about a cup of the milk and whisk. Now you've tempered your yolks, yay! Pour the egg mixture into the milk saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until boiling and thick (5 mins). Whisk in the pumpkin puree and cook, whisking for 1 min. Remove from heat, whisk in the gelatin, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk in the mascarpone. Apparently I love to *whisk!*
2. In small bowl, microwave the apple brandy with remaining 1 T sugar for 10 seconds, or just until the sugar dissolves.
3. Arrange one third of whole gingersnaps in a 9 x 13 x 2 1/2 inch baking dish. Lightly brush with some of the apple brandy syrup and top with 1/3 of pumpking custard. Repeat twice. Sprinkle half of the crushed gingersnaps on top and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Freeze overnight.
4. Let the tiramisu stand at room temp. for 6 hrs, until thawed (or overnight in fridge). Sprinkle with remaining crushed gingersnaps.
BONUS: it can be made up to a week in advance!