Pumpkin Mousse-Filled Crème Puffs From San Francisco’s Fall Fest 2010

Chef Ryan Scott

When Chef Ryan Scott was 9 years old the “toys” at the top of his Christmas list included kitchen utensils, a wok, and a food dehydrator.

Scott’s childhood passion for cooking has followed him through the rest of his life. Raised in California’s Central Valley, Scott pursued opportunities to cook at restaurants in Hawaii, New York, Boston, and elsewhere. In 2008, Scott became famous as one of the contestants on Top Chef Season 4: Chicago. Scott was bumped midway through the season when his panzanella salad and poached pears failed to impress, but soon joined the Mission Beach Cafe in San Francisco, and has been in SF ever since.

Scott made his pumpkin mousse-filled crème puffs for Fall Fest 2010, a yearly food and wine festival held last weekend in San Francisco and sponsored by San Francisco Magazine. Pumpkin creme puffs are a perfect fall dessert (and a refreshing spin on pumpkin).

Pumpkin Mousse-Filled Crème Puffs with Salted Brown Butter Caramel

Crème Puffs:
1 egg
1 cup FIJI Water
3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1/8 teaspoon
5 3/4 ounces flour
1 cup eggs (about 4 large eggs and 2 egg whites)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Boil FIJI Water, butter, and salt or sugar. Add flour and remove from heat. Work mixture together and return to heat. Continue working the mixture until all flour is incorporated and dough forms a ball.
  3. Transfer mixture into bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 or 4 minutes. With mixer on stir, or lowest speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing until all eggs have been added.
  4. Add the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe immediately into golfball-size shapes, 2 inches apart onto parchment lined sheet pans. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. Once they are removed from the oven pierce with a paring knife immediately to release steam.
  5. To assemble add about a ¼ cup of pumpkin mousse to the center of your puff. Drizzle mousse with caramel and top off with the pastry. You can garnish with more caramel or, powdered sugar and or candied pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin Mousse:
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon bourbon
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

  1. Combine pumpkin, 1 cup cream, bourbon, sugar and spice in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Cool fully.
  2. Whip remaining heavy cream and vanilla to medium peaks and fold into cooled pumpkin mixture.