I feel that I owe you a bit of an explanation. I didn't cook Thanksgiving dinner this year. On Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, I indulged in an incredible feast at The Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. It was heavenly. There were ice sculptures and two kinds of soup and four kinds of meat and seven kinds of southern vegetables (which means that all of them were incredibly delicious and none of them were in the least bit good for you) and twelve kinds of dessert. After we could eat no more, the family and I rolled outside and walked for four hours through the beautiful grounds. We walked through the formal gardens and through the conservatory and down a long path that led to a private fishing pond which flowed out by way of sparkly waterfall. That is what we did on Thanksgiving.
In exchange for Thanksgiving without football, I promised my husband that on Friday, I would cook a 22-pound turkey. It's not that we needed another feast, it's that we needed the day-after food: Turkey sandwiches. My husband waits all year for a good turkey sandwich. To him, the day after food is almost better than Thanksgiving itself.
To go along with our turkey sandwiches, I decided to forego the traditional pumpkin pie and whipped up these cute little Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifles instead. They were great for (the day after) Thanksgiving, but with the gingerbread, I thought they would work equally well for Christmas, too! The great thing about preparing them in individual cups is that the beautiful trifle bowl doesn't look half-eaten after the first serving is scooped!
Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
Courtesy of Paula Deen, The Food Network
(Makes alot - like 20!)
- 2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
- 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
- 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling (not plain pumpkin!)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
- 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
- 1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional
Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl or layered in individual cups as shown above!
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