Salted Caramel (makes about 1 ½ cups):
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup heavy cream
Ice bath if necessary
4 Bartlett pears, peeled and diced
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling (makes 3 cups):
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
Piping bags if desired
Short stemmed glass of choice or mini cups and spoons for mini desserts
1 cup whole almonds
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
Make Salted Caramel: Combine sugar, water, cream of tartar, cinnamon and star anise into a saucepan. DO NOT STIR. Bring to a boil and cook until the caramel browns. When the caramel is dark amber brown, remove from heat and carefully add cream and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. Pour into a bowl and with tongs remove cinnamon stick and star anise. Chill in refrigerator or set bowl over an ice bath to chill. Stir frequently to expedite chilling.
Sauté Pears: Using a vegetable peeler, peel and dice the pears into medium size dice. Heat butter in a sauté pan set over medium high heat. When the butter is melted and starting to foam up and turn brown, add the pears. Sauté for a couple minutes or until soft but not mushy. Stir in the salted caramel sauce and remove from heat. Set aside until ready to assemble trifle.
Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling: Place the cream cheese and brown sugar into a medium bowl or into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat with mixer until smooth and airy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the pumpkin and continue to `beat until smooth. Chill mixture or place over an ice bath until ready to assemble or at least 15 minutes.
Make Nut Crumble: Pulse almonds, sugars, and salt in a food processor until coarsely chopped. With the food processor running, add melted butter and pulse until incorporated. The mixture should resemble rocky wet sand.
ASSEMBLY FOR MINI TRIFLES: Lay out the mini cups. Pour 1 tablespoon of the caramel sauce into each cup. Next, pipe or spoon about 3 tablespoons of the pumpkin filling onto the caramel. Follow with a heaping tablespoon of the sautéed pears then top with a tablespoon of the nut crumble. Serve immediately on a platter with mini spoons.
ASSEMBLY FOR ENTRÉE SIZE TRIFLES: Follow the technique for the mini trifles above but repeat the pattern to have 2 layers of all the ingredients. Place glasses onto a napkin lined plate and serve immediately.
Recipe created by Parties That Cook®
Makes 8 entrée size trifles or 16 mini trifles