Pumpkin perfection: fluffy filling, crunchy crust, a crown of whipped cream
This year, treat everyone to pumpkin pie with a delicious difference — a light and airy chiffon filling that’s simple to make.
To make this pumpkin chiffon pie, dissolve the gelatin thoroughly — otherwise the chiffon won’t hold its shape, and will be difficult to cut. The best method, when only a small amount of liquid is used, as in this recipe: Sprinkle gelatin over cold liquid (1), so granules swell first, dissolve more easily when placed over heat and stirred constantly. Cook, stirring gently.
Mix piecrust ingredients right in the pie plate; press mixture very firmly (2) onto plate to be sure crust will hold together later, when cut.
Beat egg whites after gelatin mixture is ready — if you keep them waiting, they’ll deflate, lose the air you’ve beaten into them. Then fold in whites with wire whisk (3). Use a circular motion and slide whisk across pan bottom to bring mixture up and over surface. Don’t stir or beat. Fold gently to ensure fluffy texture.
Pumpkin chiffon pie ingredients
1/2 cup milk
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 16-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, separated
One 3 1/2-ounce can flaked coconut
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, mix milk and gelatin. Let stand 1 minute. Cook over medium heat until gelatin is completely dissolved, stirring constantly. Stir in pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture is very thick (do not boil), about 10 minutes, stirring constantly; refrigerate until chilled, but not set, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F. Spread coconut in jelly-roll pan; bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In 9-inch pie plate, with hand, mix toasted coconut, cracker crumbs, butter or margarine and 1 tablespoon sugar. Press mixture firmly onto bottom and side of pie plate just to rim.
In small bowl with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in 1/4 cup sugar, beating until sugar is completely dissolved. (Whites should stand in stiff, glossy peaks.) With wire whisk, gently fold beaten whites into pumpkin mixture; spoon into crust, refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Beat heavy or whipping cream until soft peaks form; use to garnish top of pie. Makes 10 servings.