Ina Garten Just Shared an Easy Make-ahead Thanksgiving Dessert That’s Almost Too Pretty to Eat


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For those hosting Thanksgiving dinner, the hours before the guests arrive are, well, stressful. But Ina Garten (a.k.a. the queen of hosting) has a hack to lessen the stress of Thanksgiving, and that’s by making her delicious mousse dessert a day ahead of time.

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“I love a Thanksgiving dessert that you make a day ahead so it’s ready whenever the turkey is cleared,” Garten captioned a November 15 Instagram post. “My Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits have all the flavors of the holiday — creamy pumpkin mousse, crumbled ginger cookies, and of course whipped cream makes everything better, right? It’s a great way to end your Thanksgiving celebration.”

Pie who? Never heard of her.

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Garten’s Pumpkin Mousse Parfait — a recipe from her 2006 cookbook Barefoot Contessa at Home — starts by combining the gelatin and rum.

In a separate large bowl, you then whisk together your canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, which has spices already included), two types of sugar, egg yolks, and a mix of spices.

When the gelatin has softened, you’ll heat the bowl of rum over a pan of simmering water and cook until the gelatin is clear. Then, whisk it into the pumpkin mixture while it’s still hot.

Next, make your whipped cream and fold it into the pumpkin mixture, too.

Another great aspect of this dessert is that you can assemble the entire thing the night before Thanksgiving and it will keep in the fridge until after dinner. Just spoon some of the pumpkin mixture into parfait glasses, add a layer of whipped cream, then some chopped cookies. Repeat several times to fill your glass, then cover all your glasses with plastic wrap before placing them in the refrigerator.

You can get the full recipe over on Garten’s website, or grab her book, which is packed with so many go-to recipes.

Barefoot Contessa at Home
Image: Ina Garten

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The best desserts are the ones that help you destress, and Garten’s make-ahead recipe does so in more ways than one!

Before you go, check out these Ina Garten-Approved holiday gift ideas:

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