Good Morning America Recipes

Pumpkin Trifle With Walnuts and Butterscotch Sauce

Emeril Lagasse's Unique and Tasty Holiday Dessert

Servings:Over 8
Difficulty: Moderate
Cook Time: min

Chef Emeril Lagasse cooks up some of his favorite family recipes. Find out how you too can cook like Emeril and his mother by checking out the recipe below.


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (about 3 inches), halved and scraped
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 packages lady fingers (3 ounces - soft variety, not crisp)
  • 1/2 cup Nocello, or other nut-flavored liqueur
  • 8 cups Basic Whipped Cream
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 recipe Butterscotch Sauce, for serving, recipe follows
  • Butterscotch Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • Cooking Directions

    Butterscotch Sauce

    Place the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir the pan often using a wooden spoon to ensure that the sugar dissolves.

    Cook the syrup until it reaches the caramel stage, about 240 degrees F (use a candy thermometer to determine temperature). Once the syrup has reached the caramel stage, reduce the heat to very low to avoid burning the sugar, or allowing it to get too dark. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.

    Add the butter to the syrup, and whisk continuously until well incorporated. In a separate pot, heat the heavy cream and bring to a boil.

    Slowly add the heavy cream a tablespoon at a time to the caramel, stirring to incorporate. Return the caramel to the stove, and heat until all the caramel is dissolved, and all the cream has been incorporated.

    Let the sauce cool completely, and add the milk to the sauce to thin it out if necessary.

    To serve, slice the cooled pie into 8 slices, serve with vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream along with the butterscotch sauce and a sprig of mint and powdered sugar.

    Yield: Enough butterscotch for 10 to 12 servings of trifle.

    Pumpkin Trifle

    Combine the milk, heavy cream, 1/2 cup of the sugar, vanilla bean and scraped seeds, and salt in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, discard the vanilla bean, add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice and whisk to combine.

    In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch and whisk well. Ladle about 1 cup, one half at a time, of the hot pumpkin mixture into the eggs and mix well. Pour the egg mixture into the remaining hot pumpkin mixture in the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a heat-proof rubber spatula. Immediately reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, constantly stirring, until the pudding thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap, completely touching the surface, so that the top does not develop a skin. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

    Place a layer of lady fingers around the sides and bottom of a 4 quart bowl. Using a pastry brush, moisten the lady fingers with some of the Nocello. Add about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the pumpkin pudding and 2 cups of the whipped cream. Top with another layer of lady fingers and repeat the process until the bowl is completely filled. Top with the walnuts. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

    Serve the trifle in small bowls, drizzled with the Butterscotch Sauce.

    Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, courtesy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: pumpkin, cream, sugar, vanilla, walnuts, brown sugar

    Course: Dessert

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