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.