Pumpkin-Filled Profiteroles with Maple-Caramel Sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F for profiteroles: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to boiling over medium heat. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the pan. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition.
- Drop dough into eight mounds on prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between mounds. Using the back of a spoon, smooth tops if necessary. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer profiteroles to a wire rack; cool.
- Using a serrated knife, slice each profiterole in half horizontally. Remove soft dough from inside. Divide Pumpkin Mousse Filling among profiteroles, spooning it into bottom halves. Replace tops. Spoon some of the warm Maple-Caramel Sauce onto eight dessert plates; sprinkle with some of the toasted pecans. Place a filled profiterole atop sauce on each plate; drizzle with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Makes 8 servings.
From the Test Kitchen
To Bake Ahead:
Prepare as directed through step 2. Layer profiteroles between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Chill for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Prepare Pumpkin Mousse Filling as directed; cover and chill for up to 4 hours. Prepare Maple-Caramel Sauce as directed; cover and chill for up to 1 week. To serve, reheat sauce; assemble as directed in step 3.
Pumpkin Mousse Filling
- In a chilled large bowl, combine whipping cream, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat with the chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl over). Fold in pumpkin.
- In a heavy small saucepan, stir together brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water; stir in half-and-half or light cream, pure maple syrup, and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly (mixture may appear curdled before it bubbles). Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Serve warm.