Before you say "It's not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie," take a glance at what celebrity pastry chef and Cronut creator Dominique Ansel came up with for this year's holiday. His gorgeous Pear Champagne Mousse Cake is a dessert fantasy that layers a gelee made with juicy Bosc pears along with Champagne-spiked mousse on a crust made out of decadent speculoos, aka cookie butter. Three shiny pears on top aren't actually pears; they're made with the same layers as the cake and flanked with chocolate leaves. Trust us, this ultra-rich, masterful creation will blow away those other so-called must-have Thanksgiving desserts on your table.
In case pear cake won't fly with your guests and you absolutely must present a pumpkin pie, Ansel has you covered with his Extra Silky Pumpkin Pie—a stunning version he created even though the whole pumpkin-pie thing is a relatively new concept for him.
“I’ve never actually had pumpkin pie before I came to the U.S.," says Ansel, "but it was this recipe that made me really love them, and it has become a tradition for us each Thanksgiving here in NYC." He adds, "The key is to create a really silky smooth texture with the pumpkin filling, and to have a very subtle, not too-overpowering, cinnamon spice." He triple-strains the filling to get a custard-like texture, nestles it in a gingersnap crust, and tops the whole thing with hand-piped chantilly cream.
If you live in New York City, you can order the pear cake from Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho up to 48 hours before Thanksgiving, for pickup in time for your holiday feast. It serves 6-8 and costs $46; or you can just get a small personal-size cake to eat all by yourself. The $45 pumpkin pie serves 6-8 and is available in Soho and at Dominique Ansel Kitchen in the West Village. And in case you'll be in London for the holidays, Ansel will also be serving pumpkin pies at his new shop there, which opened about 6 weeks ago.
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