Pumpkin Pie Parfait Recipe--No Cooking Required! - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Pumpkin Pie Parfait Recipe--No Cooking Required!
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Pumpkin Pie Parfait Recipe–No Cooking Required!

We really like pumpkin pie, and couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving to get our pumpkin pie fix. So on two different days, we went into two different well-regarded bakeries and bought ourselves a slice. We were a bit disappointed with each, because the spices weren’t our cup of tea. One had too much allspice, the other not enough cinnamon. So on the third day, we tried this recipe, which has the wild card of maple syrup (that’s because it was sent to us by the Pure Maple from Canada folks.

So how was it?

Overall: a delicious pumpkin pie-like dessert that requires no baking, in fact, no kitchen skills whatsoever if you don’t toast the pecans. You don’t have to toast them, but the flavor is so much better if you do. You can toast nuts on the stove top, in the microwave or in the oven. The instructions are below.

The maple syrup was a pleasant flavor alternative to the customary brown sugar.

We made one substitution and one addition to the recipe. We didn’t have chia seeds, but we did have pepitas: unshelled, unsalted pumpkin seeds.

We also added a streusel “crust” at the bottom of the pudding parfait. You can do the same with:

  • Crumbled gingersnaps, graham crackers or shortbread (or heck, Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers).
  • Actual pie crust, if you have leftover scraps that you can bake in the toaster oven and crumble.
    It was a nice extra layer of flavor.

    We used Tru Whip, which we find has better flavor than Cool Whip—and it’s all natural. The next time we make this recipe, we’re going to try substituting stabilized whipped cream for the whipped topping. Here’s a recipe to start off with.

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (directions below)
  • 6 Tbsp pure maple syrup from Canada, divided
  • 1 can (15 oz) 100% pure pumpkin purée
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 cup + 4 tablespoons thawed whipped topping, divided

    1. TOAST the pecans. Combine the pecans and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pecan mixture and divide the remaining mixture evenly between 4 glasses.

    Note that if you are using a “crust” option, that should be your first layer before you add the pecans.

    2. COMBINE the pumpkin purée in a bowl along with 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, the chia seeds, and the pumpkin pie spice. Fold in 1 cup of whipped topping and divide the pudding evenly in the four glasses over the pecan mixture.

    3. TOP with the remaining whipped topping and the reserved pecan mixture, dividing evenly. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

    Why toast nuts, seeds, or spices?

  • Toasting takes the bite out of walnuts, and adds mellow dimensions of flavor to all nuts. It’s the same with seeds and spices.
  • Toasting can also put some life back into nuts, seeds, and spices that are old and no longer vibrant.
  • With nuts, toast whole nuts or halves first, then chop them into smaller pieces if desired.
  • It’s best to toast all three as close to serving as possible—fresh-toasted nuts, seeds, and spices have a wonderful aroma.
  • Once toasted, they can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1 to 2 weeks, or frozen in an airtight freezer container for 1 to 3 months.
    That said, toasting couldn’t be easier.

  • ON THE STOVETOP: Place the nuts/seeds/spices in a heavy, dry skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant and a shade or two darker, 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t crowd the nuts; use a larger skillet as needed, or toast in two batches.
  • IN THE OVEN: Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the nuts/seeds/spices in an ungreased shallow baking pan or a rimmed baking sheet, in a single layer. Roast until golden, 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice for even toasting.
  • IN THE MICROWAVE: For smaller amounts—tablespoon to a 1/2 cup, spread evenly in a single layer on a flat, microwave-safe dish. Add a small amount of softened butter or oil—1/2 teaspoon of fat per 1/2 cup of nuts/seeds/spices. Stir to coat with the fat and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and microwave for another minute. If not done to your satisfaction, continue to cook 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each addition of time. As with the other methods, the product should become lightly browned and fragrant.
    For all methods, shake the pan during toasting to even the browning. When finished, remove the nuts from the pan to cool.
    Like all cooked foods, the nuts/seeds/spices will continue to cook when removed from the heat.

  • Don’t over-toast. Err on the side of under-toasting.
  • Stove-top toasting doesn’t toast as evenly as the oven method, because the heat isn’t as even. The surface touching the heat becomes darker in color. But, it’s fine for most purposes.

    *If you don’t have a prepared blend, combine ¾ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon each of allspice, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.


    [1] “Pumpkin pie parfait” is actually, a pumpkin pudding parfait. By any name, it’s a tasty treat (photo © Pure Maple From Canada).

    [2] You’ll need pumpkin puree—a can will do although this one is homemade by Foodal. Here’s the recipe (photo © Foodal).

    [3] Mmm, pecans. We ate half of them before we toasted them! Fortunately, we had a whole bag full (photo ©

    [4] A leaf bottle is a cute gift (photo © Canada Maples).

    Truwhip & Gingerbread
    [5] Tru Whip: a natural whipped topping (photo © Tru Whip).

    [6] The pumpkin pie spice mix proportions can vary, but it typically includes allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger (photo © Silk Road Spices).





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