PUMPKIN MOUSSE PIE

Ginger Crust (see recipe below)
Filling:
10 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 16-oz. can pumpkin (or 2 cups home-baked pumpkin puree)*
2 tablespoons milk, whole or skim, half-and-half, or light cream
1 tablespoon rum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Garnish:
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons rum
Orange peel curls (optional)

 *If you want to bake your own pumpkin for this filling see a method detailed with Bette MacDonald's recipe for pumpkin pie.

GINGER CRUST:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a medium mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger; toss gently to mix.  Spread mixture evenly in a 10-inch pie plate.  Press onto bottom and up sides to form a firm, even crust.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 4 to 5 minutes or till edge is light brown. 
Cool on a wire rack before filling.

TO MAKE FILLING:
In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and brown sugar; beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed till fluffy.  Add eggs all at once; beat on low speed just till combined.  Do not overbeat.  Gently stir in pumpkin, milk or cream, rum, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, allspice, orange peel, and lemon juice.
Place pie plate with Ginger Crust on a baking sheet on the oven rack.  Slowly pour pumpkin mixture into Ginger Crust.  Cover the edge with foil.  Bake in a 375 F. oven for 25 minutes.  Remove foil.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes more or till a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  (The center will be slightly soft when tested and will firm as it cools.)  Cool pie completely on a wire rack.  Cover and chill to store. 

FOR GARNISH:
Before serving, in a chilled medium mixing bowl combine whipping cream, the 2 tablespoons sugar, and the 2 to 3 teaspoons rum.  Beat with an electric mixer on low speed till soft peaks form.  Do not overbeat.  Cut pie into wedges.  Top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream; garnish with an orange peel curl, if desired.

Serves 8.

This recipe has been kitchen tested (adapted from an article in  B, H&G, Nov. 91).

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