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Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (no bake!)

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (no bake!)

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Luxurious and ultra silky, this no-bake Pumpkin Chiffon Pie elevates traditional pumpkin pie to something much greater.

I admit to being somewhat skeptical about pumpkin pie. I don’t like all of them. In fact, this was probably the first time I ever thought one was genuinely delicious. Chiffon means silky and that’s exactly what this pie is. I don’t miss heavy pumpkin pies that are practically just a mixture of pumpkin puree and sugar. This pie is so much more than that!

This recipe hails back to my dads side of the family (shoutout to Sue!) and although I don’t know its exact origins, it’s safe to say it originated in America’s south. Having lived in Tennessee for a while, I can say with confidence: you gotta love a good southern pie!

Pumpkin pie is usually associated with fall and the holidays, but I would like to make the case that this is a great pie for the summer as well. First of all, it’s no bake! Because of the nature of my kitchen, it’s almost impossible to convince me to turn on the oven in the summer. I’m positive I’m not alone. And second, the texture is so light and silky- it doesn’t feel nearly as heavy as other, more traditional fall and winter pies.

This pumpkin chiffon pie recipe starts with a gingersnap crust. I have included a basic gingersnap pie crust recipe here- literally just a mix of gingersnaps and butter-  but if you have one that you prefer, use that!

Part of the opulent texture of this recipe comes from beating egg whites until stiff. Be sure to actually get your eggs to room temperature beforehand. I feel obligated to give this advice because I learned this more recently than I care to admit. Eggs that are too cold will never form those nice peaks that you are looking for. It’s so tempting to skip this step, but it really does make a huge difference!

In that same vein, there’s two other places I recommend exercising patience to achieve maximum pie success. First, be sure to cool the cooked pumpkin mixture all the way- to at least room temperature- before folding in the egg whites. If the mixture is still warm, you will lose all that good texture you worked so hard to create when beating the egg whites; the heat will make the peaks collapse. Second, don’t beat your egg whites in advance- wait until the pumpkin has cooled and you’re ready to immediately use them. Another way to lose all of that awesome elevation in your egg whites is to let them sit around too long in the bowl.

It will take time but you will be richly rewarded for your patience!

side-view-sliced-chiffon-pumpkin-pie-with-whipped-cream-and-pecans

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (no bake!)

Luxurious and ultra silky, this no-bake Pumpkin Chiffon Pie elevates traditional pumpkin pie to something much greater.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 9" pie

Ingredients

For Crust:

  • 35 ginger snaps (approximately 2 inches diameter each)
  • 6 tbsp salted butter, melted

For Pie:

  • 3 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3 eggs, separated and room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder

Instructions

Make Crust:

  1. Use the "pulse" setting on a blender to grind cookies into powder. Don't overblend- you want your cookie crumbs to be uniform in size but not totally turned into dust.

  2. Pour into a medium mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter until completely coated.

  3. Press the ginger snap and butter mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9" pie pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make Pie:

  1. Stir the gelatin and cold water together in a small bowl and set aside. Make sure it sits for at least five minutes.

  2. Making sure they are about room temperature, separate the eggs. Crack the whites into a medium mixing bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat the yolks with pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup sugar, milk, salt and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger).

  3. Cook in a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer and thicken, stirring occasionally.

  4. Add gelatin and water mixture to the pumpkin and stir until dissolved completely. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool all the way down.

  5. Once the pumpkin mixture has cooled to at least room temperature, beat the egg whites on high speed. Add the last 6 tbsp sugar, one tbsp at a time, continuing to beat until all sugar is incorporated and stiff peaks are starting to form.

  6. In as few motions as possible, fold egg whites into the pumpkin mixture until they are fully incorporated. Pour into your prepared crust. Chill until firm, at least over night. Serve with whipped cream.

Currently Listening: The Smashing Pumpkins – Cyr

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