• 3 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from 1 1/2 envelopes)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 large eggs yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pound (2 cups) mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons apple brandy (you can make your own by soaking apples in regular brandy overnight)
  • 1 1/4 pounds gingersnaps, 1/4 pound lightly crushed (we prefer to use molasses cookies homemade from the family recipe)


  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the yolks, cornstarch, salt and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar until the sugar is moistened. In a large saucepan heat the milk until just steaming. Whisk 1 cup of the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Pour the mixture into the milk in the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until boiling and thick, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the pumpkin puree and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Take off the heat and let cool a few minutes. Whisk in the gelatin, vanilla, cinnamon and mascarpone cheese.
  2. In a small bowl, microwave the apple brandy with the remaining tablespoon of sugar on high for 20 seconds, just until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Arrange 1/3 of the whole gingersnaps or molasses cookies in a 9×13 baking dish. Lightly brush the cookies with some of the apple brandy and then top with 1/3 of the pumpkin custard. Repeat the layering twice more with the remaining whole cookies, brandy and pumpkin custard. Sprinkle half of the crushed cookies on top and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the tiramisu. Freeze overnight.
  4. Let the tiramisu stand at room temperature for 6 hours, until thawed. Sprinkle with the remaining crushed cookies and serve.