Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

I honestly think that my husband has threatened to divorce me over my dislike of pumpkin pie.  It's his absolute favorite, and it has to be made just like it says on the can with his mom's crust recipe.  He could eat it ever day!  When I told him that I was going to try this pumpkin chiffon pie, he was skeptical.  I was a bit nervous since all of my family that came couldn't believe the blasphemous act of not making a traditional pumpkin pie.  Well, I served everyone a piece and just waited for the criticism.  It didn't come.  My husband said that he liked this better than his favorite pumpkin pie.  My brother was inspecting the crust trying to figure out what that deliciousness was.  Everyone loved it, and I think that traditional pumpkin pie is dead to us all!  The texture of this pie is far less dense, and the Nilla wafer crust is to die for.  I'm so glad that I found this recipe because it is a new family must-have for Thanksgiving or whenever my husband craves it.  

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Makes 2 pies

For the crust:
4 c crushed Nilla wafer cookies (a rough texture is fine)
10 T butter, melted
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t salt

For the pie filling:
3 t unflavored gelatin
1/4 c Cointreau (I used water)
1 1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 c sugar and 1/3 c sugar, divided
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t salt
4 egg whites

fresh whipped cream, to serve

Prepare the crust:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt.  Stir well to combine.  Press the mixture firmly into two 9-inch pie plates.  There may be some extra.  If you want, you can save it and sprinkle it in top of the whipped cream.

Bake for ten minutes.  Cool.

For the filling:
In a small bowl, sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over 1/4 c Cointreau (or water) to soften for five minutes.  Get a bowl that's bigger, put about a 1/4 c of water in the bowl, and heat it up.  Place the gelatin bowl into this warm water to get it to dissolve.

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, 1/2 c sugar, 3 egg yolks, the cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring for 10 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl.  Stir in the dissolved gelatin, an let the mixture cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until the hold soft peaks.  Beat in the remaining 1/3 c sugar, 2 T at a time, beating the meringue until it holds stuff peaks, and fold this meringue into the partially cooled pumpkin mixture.

Pour the filling into the baked shells and chill the pie, lightly covered, overnight.

Garnish with plenty of whipped cream and sprinkle with reserved crust crumbles, if desired.

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