Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton

Even people who aren’t big pumpkin pie fans will like this genteel version. Light, delicate, and sweet, it is a recipe from a kinder, gentler time. Its very name—“chiffon”—evokes a sheer and floaty fabric, a long way from today’s sturdy Spandex. Even after a hearty holiday meal, we find there’s always room for a small slice of this lovely pie.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 2 cups crumbled ginger snaps
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

For the filling

  • 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh cooked or canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 whole nutmeg, freshly grated or 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Freshly whipped cream

Instructions

For the crust, preheat the oven to 350°. Put the crumbled cookies into a large resealable plastic bag and seal, pressing out the air. Roll back and forth over the bag with a rolling pin until the cookies are ground into fine crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and stir to combine. Pat the mixture evenly into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

For the filling, soak the gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Put the egg yolks, ¼ cup of the sugar, the pumpkin, milk, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the softened gelatin, then transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool.

Beat the reserved egg whites in a large mixing bowl on medium speed until foamy. Continue beating, gradually adding the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until egg whites are thick, glossy, and stiff. Fold the whites into the filling and pour into the baked pie crust. Chill until set, about 2 hours. Serve with freshly whipped cream, if you like.

Canal House Cooks Every Day by Hamilton & Hirsheimer, Andrews McMeel 2012.

Cook time: 
2 hours 20 minutes
Yield: 
makes one 9-inch pie
  • Who owns quinoa?

    "In order for it to grow around the world, it needs to be bred by plant breeders down to lower altitude," says journalist Lisa Hamilton. "The trouble is that those seeds -- that genetic diversity -- are owned by the people of the Andes."

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