Thursday, September 2, 2010
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Grandma Sophie made this pie every year for Thanksgiving. I always thought it was some generations-old recipe handed down through the years. Turns out this pie was first devised in the 1950's and made popular by Mamie Eisenhower. Many versions of it exist, but this one does not require a double-boiler. Once you've tried it, you will never go back to the dense, baked version.
Because of the whipped egg whites, this recipe makes slightly more filling than most deep-dish pie crusts can hold. I usually put the leftovers in a bowl and it becomes my Thanksgiving Day lunch. Or, you could fill two mini-crusts. A double batch makes 3 slightly less-filled pies.
*1 pre-baked pie crust (flour or graham cracker)
*1 envelope unflavored gelatin, softened in 1/4 C cold water
3 eggs, separated
*1-1/4 C canned pumpkin (for 1 9" pie)
2/3 C milk
1 C brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ginger, nutmeg, and salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tb powdered sugar
1. Beat egg yolks slightly and add, in saucepan, to pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, and spices. Mix well and cook over low heat, stirring constantly. You actually do have to stir it, or it will spew pumpkin lava all over your stove.
2. Cook until custard consistency, meaning the eggs are cooked. If you can't figure that out, get a thermometer. Eggs cook at 135º, and just about all pathogens are killed by 165º. This takes 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in softened gelatin. Place in fridge to chill for about 2 hours.
3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, gradually adding vanilla and powdered sugar. With the same beater, beat custard slightly to break up the gelatin. Fold custard into egg whites, being careful not to stir too much and deflate the chiffon. You can actually hear the egg-white bubbles popping.
4. Pour filling into prebaked 9" deep-dish pie shell. Chill for at least 2 more hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream.
Difficulty rating :-0