Sharing a seriously fun love for food

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

A fluffy cloud of meringue folded into a creamy pumpkin custard bursting with spice then nestled into a ginger snap cookie crust. It’s an old classic recipe and one worth remembering!

I ran across my Grandmother, Grace Pearl’s handwritten recipe for pumpkin chiffon pie and decided this might be the year to revisit my classic pumpkin pie for the holidays. Grace was an excellent cook so anything she had taken the time to write down is definitely worth trying.

Grace Pearl, age 20 and a copy of her Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.

After one bite I must tell you if you’ve never tried a chiffon pie you need to give it a go. Instead of being baked on top, the sweet meringue is blended into the pie filling giving it a delicate, light texture.

My version varies slightly from my Grandmother’s. I use allspice instead of nutmeg, replicating the same spice mix I use when I bake a custard pumpkin pie. The pumpkin filling is made with egg yolks, milk and brown sugar plus those gorgeous holiday spices of cinnamon, ginger and the allspice.

The meringue is the classic recipe – egg whites with a touch of cream of tarter, sweetened with a bit of sugar and accented with pure vanilla extract.

And though you would think the meringue would mute the flavors of the custard, nothing could be further from the truth. Before the meringue is added, the pumpkin custard is cooked deepening those rich autumn tones.

The beauty of this type of pie is not just the taste. It’s best made a day or two in advance taking a little pressure off last minute baking needs.

Though you can whip up a standard pastry shell to hold the pumpkin filling – elevate it and make a ginger snap crust. The cookie crust brings out the ginger notes in your pie and is absolutely delectable!

Holidays are the perfect time for creating new memories and reminiscing on times past. There’s no better way to celebrate with those we love than sharing this utterly divine vintage pie!

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

For the ginger snap crust:

2 cups ginger snap crumbs, about 4 cups of gingersnaps – such as Murray Old-Fashioned Ginger Snaps

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon flour

4 tablespoons melted butter

1 to 2 tablespoon cold water

Using a food processor mix the ginger snap crumbs with the kosher salt and flour, processing for about 10 to 15 seconds.

Add the melted butter and pulse about 6 to 8 times to combine. Press the crumbs together between your fingertips – if they do not hold together add 1 tablespoon and check again. Use the remaining teaspoon only if needed – too much water will make it sticky.

Spray the bottom of 9” deep-dish pie plate. Turn the mixture into the pie plate and press in the bottom and up the sides. If it sticks to your hands, dust them with a bit of flour.

Freeze the crust for 10 minutes. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350-degrees. Set aside to cool completely while you make the filling.

For the pumpkin filling:

1 to 1-1/2 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (For a firmer custard use 1-1/2 tablespoons gelatin, or 2 envelopes gelatin.)

½ cup cold water

¾ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground allspice

1 can pumpkin puree, 15-ounces, about 2 cups

3 extra-large egg yolks – reserve the egg whites for the meringue

½ cup milk

One 9” baked gingersnap pie shell or traditional pastry crust

In a small bowl or measuring cup add the gelatin to the cold water, stirring to dissolve.

In a medium saucepan combine the brown sugar, kosher salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, pumpkin puree, egg yolks and milk. Whisk together until the pumpkin mixture is smooth.

Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture comes to a boil, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute and remove from the heat. Add the dissolved gelatin to the pumpkin mixture, stirring to blend in completely and set aside to cool, about 20 minutes.

While the pumpkin mixture cools make the meringue.

For the meringue:

3 extra-large egg whites or ½ cup pasteurized egg whites*

¼ teaspoon cream of tarter

6 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the egg whites and the cream of tarter in the bowl of a mixer. With the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high until they are frothy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Using medium speed, add the sugar a little at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until the meringue has formed soft peaks, then add the vanilla extract.

Continue beating on medium-high until the meringue is glossy and has formed stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.

*The meringue that is folded into the pie filling is made from uncooked egg whites. If you have a concern about using raw eggs, pasteurized eggs are recommended as an alternative.

To assemble the pie:

Gently fold the meringue into the cooled pumpkin custard, taking care not to deflate the meringue.

Pour the pumpkin filling into the cooled gingersnap crust. Chill at least two hours or overnight to allow the filling to set up.

Serve well chilled!

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

November 19, 2018
: Serves 6 to 8.

A fluffy cloud of meringue folded into a creamy pumpkin custard bursting with spice then nestled into a ginger snap cookie crust. It’s an old classic recipe and one worth remembering!

By:

Ingredients
  • For the ginger snap crust:
  • 2 cups ginger snap crumbs, about 4 cups of gingersnaps – such as Murray Old-Fashioned Ginger Snaps
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon cold water
  • For the pumpkin filling:
  • 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (For a firmer custard use 1-1/2 tablespoons gelatin, or 2 envelopes gelatin.)
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 can pumpkin puree, 15-ounces, about 2 cups
  • 3 extra-large egg yolks – reserve the egg whites for the meringue
  • ½ cup milk
  • One 9” baked gingersnap pie shell or traditional pastry crust
  • For the meringue:
  • 3 extra-large egg whites or ½ cup pasteurized egg whites*
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions
  • Step 1 For the ginger snap crust:
  • Step 2 Using a food processor mix the ginger snap crumbs with the kosher salt and flour, processing for about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Step 3 Add the melted butter and pulse about 6 to 8 times to combine. Press the crumbs together between your fingertips – if they do not hold together add 1 tablespoon and check again. Use the remaining teaspoon only if needed – too much water will make it sticky.
  • Step 4 Spray the bottom of 9” deep-dish pie plate. Turn the mixture into the pie plate and press in the bottom and up the sides. If it sticks to your hands, dust them with a bit of flour.
  • Step 5 Freeze the crust for 10 minutes. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350-degrees. Set aside to cool completely while you make the filling.
  • Step 6 For the pumpkin filling:
  • Step 7 In a small bowl or measuring cup add the gelatin to the cold water, stirring to dissolve.
  • Step 8 In a medium saucepan combine the brown sugar, kosher salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, pumpkin puree, egg yolks and milk. Whisk together until the pumpkin mixture is smooth.
  • Step 9 Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture comes to a boil, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute and remove from the heat.
  • Step 10 Add the dissolved gelatin to the pumpkin mixture, stirring to blend in completely and set aside to cool, about 20 minutes. While the pumpkin mixture cools make the meringue.
  • Step 11 For the meringue:
  • Step 12 Combine the egg whites and the cream of tarter in the bowl of a mixer. With the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high until they are frothy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Step 13 Using medium speed, add the sugar a little at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl once. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until the meringue has formed soft peaks. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating on medium-high until the meringue is glossy and has formed stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.
  • Step 14 *The meringue that is folded into the pie filling is made from uncooked egg whites. If you have a concern about using raw eggs, pasteurized eggs are recommended as an alternative.
  • Step 15 To assemble the pie:
  • Step 16 Gently fold the meringue into the cooled pumpkin custard, taking care not to deflate the meringue.
  • Step 17 Pour the pumpkin filling into the cooled gingersnap crust. Chill at least two hours or overnight to allow the filling to set up.
  • Step 18 Keep the pumpkin chiffon pie refrigerated.


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