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Up your pumpkin pie game this Thanksgiving holiday with a Pumpkin Chiffon Pie. It is a lighter, airier version of the traditional pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Okay, confession time. I used to hate pumpkin pie. Like, my whole life until maybe just a few years ago when I learned it’s really not as bad as I always thought, especially when made with homemade pumpkin puree.
But there was one exception. While I didn’t like traditional pumpkin pie, I DID like pumpkin chiffon pie, which is a fluffier version of the same thing. Turns out it was the dense texture of classic pumpkin pie that was turning me off and pumpkin chiffon pie changed all that.
The filling takes on an almost mousse-like quality, which is unsurprising considering it is essentially pumpkin pie filling with folded in egg whites and stabilized with gelatin that gets refrigerated rather than baked. After a few hours chilling in the fridge, the pie is set and ready to be topped with whipped cream and showcased on your Thanksgiving dessert table!
This isn’t quite a no-bake pie since you have to blind-bake the crust, but it is pretty close to being a no-bake pumpkin pie otherwise.
Chiffon pies were created in 1926 by Monroe Boston Strause, a baker known as the “Pie King”. It is any kind of pie where the filling is made by folding meringue into a flavored base that has been stabilized with unflavored gelatin, like a lemon curd or spiced pumpkin filling. It makes for an airy, light pie filling that is truly unique.
How to Make Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
- Blind bake a pie crust and cool completely. You could always buy a refrigerated pie crust from the store, or learn how to make pie crust, including how to blind bake a pie crust in my perfect pie crust recipe post.
- Dissolve gelatin in water. This step is super easy. Literally just sprinkle a packet of unflavored gelatin over 1/4 cup of water and let it sit while you mix everything else up.
- Mix pumpkin puree with the spices, egg yolks, milk, and some of the sugar on the stove. Cook for just 5-7 minutes over medium heat just until the mixture thickens slightly, but don’t let it come to a boil.
- Once the pumpkin mixture is hot and slightly thickened, add the dissolved gelatin and stir to combine, then let the filling cool completely.
- Beat egg white until soft peaks form, gradually adding the remaining sugar to make a meringue, then continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the meringue into the cooled pumpkin filling, then pour into the cooled pie crust.
- Refrigerate until set, then top with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.
- 1 blind-baked pie crust
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can pumpkin puree (just a little under 2 cups if using fresh pumpkin puree)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Sweetened whipped cream, for topping
- Blind-bake the pie crust in a 400 degree F. oven for 15 minutes with pie weights, then another 15 minutes until fully baked. Cool completely.
- Dissolve the gelatin by sprinkling it over the water in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar with the salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, egg yolks, milk, and pumpkin. Whisk well and cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes, just until the mixture is hot and has thickened slightly, but hasn't come to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the dissolved gelatin and vanilla. Cool completely to room temperature but don't refrigerate yet since the gelatin will set in the fridge.
- When the filling has cooled, beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Continue beating, gradually adding the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the stiffened egg whites into the pumpkin mixture, then pour it into the cooled pie shell. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight until firm, then top with sweetened whipped cream and dust with cinnamon for presentation.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166Saturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 211mgCarbohydrates: 24gSugar: 15gProtein: 3g