This post is sponsored by Darden Restaurants, but all opinions are my own.
Photos updated 10/26/16.
This No Bake Pumpkin Pie in a Jar is super easy to make and tastes just like pumpkin pie! It’s also a great dessert to make ahead!
This was such a fun recipe to create. When I was asked to try the seasonal pumpkin desserts at Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Longhorn Steakhouse, I couldn’t wait! I absolutely LOVE trying desserts and comparing them. And getting to create a recipe inspired by one of the desserts is totally up my alley! Let’s take a look at the line up of desserts I tried, shall we?
The hubs went with me to try everything and first up was Olive Garden’s Pumpkin Cheesecake topped with whipped cream, caramel sauce and ginger cookie crumbles. So good! I am a big cheesecake and pumpkin lover so it was no surprise to me that I loved this cheesecake. It had the perfect pumpkin flavor! And I don’t know what they did to that whipped cream, but dang. Delish! I totally thought this one would be my winner.
But then we went to Longhorn Steakhouse. Their Pumpkin Spice Lava Cake is filled with a cream cheese icing and drizzled with bourbon-caramel sauce and candied pecans. Again, yum! Delicious cake and magically awesome cream cheese filling. It gave Olive Garden a run for it’s cheesecake money.
Then we headed to Red Lobster. Of course I couldn’t go to Red Lobster and not have some of their cheesy biscuits. Those things must literally be made in heaven.
After the biscuits we dug into the Pumpkin Pie in a jar which was layered with pumpkin, cream cheese mousse and a graham-cracker crust, then topped with sugared pecans.
Shut the front door, you guys, this thing was the JAM! I would have licked that jar clean if I hadn’t been in public. As it was, I used my spoon to get every bit I could out of that jar.
The desserts were all delicious and I’d definitely get them all again, but of course I chose the pumpkin pie in a jar to recreate. You and I both need this in our lives.
This Pumpkin Pie in a Jar recipe is where it’s at. It’s no bake, easy to make and super stinkin’ cute in a jar. I originally used the 8 oz/half pint size mason jars, but recently updated the photos with these great 9 oz cups. Either way, they are adorable.
I did change it up a bit from the one we tasted at Red Lobster. To start, instead of an all graham-cracker crust, I decided to mix chopped graham cracker and gingersnaps for a little extra flavor. But of course, you could go with all chopped graham cracker or all gingersnap, if you prefer.
Then I made a delicious pumpkin pie filling. One of the things I loved about the Red Lobster dessert was the texture of the pumpkin pie filling. It was smooth and yet maintained some of the texture of the pumpkin puree. I love textures in my food, so I really wanted to keep that. Well, I did and it’s a delicious blend of pumpkin puree and spices. The filling is so good I literally ate some of it on its own with a spoon.
Next was the cream cheese mousse. It’s basically a combination of meringue, a little cream cheese for stability, and melted marshmallows.
Making the meringue is a lot like making homemade whipped cream! Just replace the whipping cream with egg whites and add sugar. It’s whipped until it reaches stiff peaks, then combined with the cream cheese and melted marshmallows.
The meringue is uncooked, but you could totally do a cooked meringue if you want. Just combine the eggs whites and sugar over a double boiler, heat until about 120 degrees, then whip and continue with the rest of the mousse.
The rest is just layering! Depending on how crunchy you want your graham cracker and gingersnap layer to be, you may or may not want to make these in advance. After just a couple hours in the fridge, the cookies begin to soften. Personally, I like them a little soft but it’s up to you.
I topped mine with a drizzle of caramel sauce, whipped cream and few more graham cracker and gingersnap crumbs. The gingersnap on top was the finishing touch!
These are seriously delicious! The hubs couldn’t wait to eat them and neither could I.
Yield: 5-6 jars
2 cups mini marshmallows
2. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cloves and heavy cream and stir to combine. Set aside.
8. Refrigerate for an hour or so .
Original photo above.
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