Pumpkin hors d’oeuvres recipe

For his column about seasonal entertaining with haute hors d’oeuvres in Luxury Portfolio magazine, Chef Tom Goetter, vice president of hotel operations and oceans for Scenic Group, shared hosting tips straight from the group’s luxury yacht cruises.

The following recipe has been served onboard Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yachts as an amuse bouche during Chef’s Table experiences for esteemed guests. Chef Goetter has also featured these items during his time competing on Bravo’s Top Chef World All Stars.

Serve to your guests together as one standout dish or use each component alone however you’d like!

Image courtesy of Scenic Group

Step 1 – pumpkin mousse

  • Milk: 300g
  • Cream cheese: 100g
  • Juice from pumpkin puree: 300g (note: save shredded pumpkin for pumpkin compote)
  • Ginger: 50g (sliced)
  • Heavy cream: 500g
  • Salt: 5g
  • Gelatin leaves: 7g (soaked in cold water)
  • Sliced lemongrass: 1g (sliced)
  • Kaffir lime leaves: 3g (whole)
  1. Begin by reducing the pumpkin juice in a saucepan until it becomes a thick concentrate. Set aside.
  2. In another saucepan, bring milk to a boil with ginger, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass. Remove from heat and let it infuse for 30 minutes to absorb the flavors.
  3. Strain the infused milk and combine it with the reduced pumpkin juice.
  4. Stir in the cream cheese and gelatin until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold it into the pumpkin mixture until fully combined.
  6. Transfer the mixture to piping bags and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set.

Step 2 – pumpkin compote

  • Sugar: 100g
  • White vinegar: 50g
  • Fresh thyme: 5g
  • Salt: 5g
  • Fresh orange juice: 50g
  • Shredded pumpkin: 50g
  • Finely chopped onion: 200g
  1. In a sauce pot, heat the sugar over medium heat until it caramelizes to a light amber color.
  2. Add the onions to the caramel and sauté lightly until they are soft and translucent.
  3. Carefully add vinegar to the pot to deglaze, stirring to incorporate the caramelized bits.
  4. Add the shredded pumpkin to the pot, stirring well to combine with the onions and caramel.
  5. Pour in the orange juice to deglaze again, adding a fresh citrus note.
  6. Add salt, thyme and black pepper to taste, stirring well to blend the flavors.
  7. Continue to cook the mixture over medium heat for approximately five minutes until it reaches a thick, compote consistency.
Image courtesy of Scenic Group

Step 3 – make pumpkins

  1. On a plastic-covered surface, measure 20-centimeter squares.
  2. Place 20 grams of the pumpkin mousse in the center of each square, along with five grams of pumpkin compote. Roll up the squares into balls, sealing them like candy with a clip.
  3. Place the rolls into a blast chiller/freezer and store them in the freezer until ready to serve.

Step 4 – carrot kappa glaze

  • Carrots: 500g of juice
  • Red bell peppers: 500g of juice
  • Kappa carrageen: 11g
  • Sosa yellow food coloring: 0.5g
  • Salt: 5g
  1. Juice red bell peppers in a juicer
  2. Trim and peel the carrots thoroughly, ensuring you remove the green tops to avoid any bitterness. Then juice the carrots.
  3. In a saucepan, mix the fresh bell pepper and carrot juice. Add the measured kappa carrageenan to the mixture.
  4. Gently heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking continuously, bringing it to a simmering point. Ensure the temperature exceeds 85 degrees Celsius (185 Fahrenheit) to activate the kappa carrageenan.
  5. Once the kappa carrageenan is activated, turn off the heat. Cover the liquid with plastic film directly touching the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
  6. Allow the mixture to rest and cool down to approximately 65 degrees Celsius (149 Fahrenheit). This step ensures the mixture is ready for the next phase.

Step 5 – glaze the pumpkins

  1. Pass the frozen pumpkin-shaped mousse through the cooled glaze to create a beautiful, shiny finish.