Part of my family heritage appears to be to risk illness on some special holidays. Chiffon is made with never-cooked egg whites, so there’s a real risk of salmonella from this pumpkin chiffon pie. But my grandmother made it, and I make it almost every year in her memory. My version uses less sugar, more pumpkin, and a bit more spice than hers, but it’s still the tradition.
Michael’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
1 9-inch graham cracker crust (optionally, 10-inch crust)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 3 slightly beaten egg yolks
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 3/4 cups canned or mashed cooked pumpkin
- 3 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Separate whites and yolks from 3 eggs (4 for 10” crust)
- In a 1 to 2 quart saucepan, combine the brown sugar, gelatin, salt, and spices.
- Combine the beaten egg yolks and milk; stir these into the brown-sugar mixture.
- Cook this and stir until the mixture comes to a boil.
- Remove it from heat; stir in the pumpkin. (It is OK to use a whole 15oz can.)
- Chill the mixture until it mounds slightly when spooned. (Test it every now and then — don’t let it get too stiff.)
- Beat room-temperature egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add granulated sugar, beating to stiff peaks.
- Fold the pumpkin mixture thoroughly into the egg whites, until no more streaks of white are visible.
- Turn this mixture into the crust
- Chill until firm.
- Garnish slices as you serve with whipped cream.