Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope everyone had a fantastic 2019 and we are ready for the next decade! We have been working on a “Unsolved Case File” that I received as a Christmas gift. We finally cracked the case last night! It was pretty fun – here is a photo of just some of the items that we used to crack the case and find the “killer.” There are photos, witness statements, evidence and bonus envelopes you get to open after solving the first mystery.
I also discovered an AMAZING fruit and nut mix at Costco that costs $4.97 for 22 ounces!! That is crazy cheap – half the price of Trader Joe’s. Here is a quick photo in case you want to get some before they run out!
Before the New Year – Healthy Eating swing kicks in for January, I wanted to post ONE LAST dessert that we made and loved over the holidays. (Although as far as pies go…. this one is actually pretty healthy compared to most.) If you love pumpkin pie, or love a good chiffon pie, you will love this recipe! The pie is sweet, but not too sweet and the filling is silky smooth. It doesn’t have the milled down pumpkin puree mouthfeel that some people do not like in a pumpkin pie. This pie is great to make ahead of time! You can make it the day before and allow it to sit and cool and it is ready for eating or travel the next day.
For the Crust:
You can make your own or you can buy a pre-made crust. For this chiffon I used a graham cracker crush. For lemon chiffon pies, I use a blind baked regular pie crust. You can use whatever is easiest for you!
For the Filling:
Since there are eggs involved, they need to be safe to eat! So, I created two ways to make the pie. Normally, a chiffon pie has you separate eggs and you whisk the yolks into the main filling. This filling is cooked over a stove. Many recipes call for a double boiler, but I have never seen the need to go to all that trouble. I watch the stove pretty closely. Next, you whip the leftover egg whites over a stove and must have a hand mixer to do this. I do not own a hand mixer, so I just used powdered egg whites (called meringue powder) instead. Using powdered egg whites allowed me to use my Kitchen aid, and I didn’t have one more thing to cook. Why buy meringue powder? I always have some on hand for making royal icing or orange julius copycat smoothies.
For the Topping:
Feel free to use whipped cream out of a can, Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream.
- 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
- 3 eggs, separated
- Optional 6 tsp. meringue powder and 6 Tb. water
- 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 10 inch store-bought graham cracker crust (or homemade)
- Whipped cream for serving, optional but tasty
- Cinnamon for garnish, optional
- In a small bowl, add gelatin and 1/4 cup cold water. Set this aside for later.
- Over medium to medium-low heat, in a medium saucepan, add egg yolks, pumpkin, 1/4 cup sugar milk, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Whisk together. Cook for about 5 minutes and constant whisk those last 2-3 minutes. The mixture should look thick and register 160 degrees on a thermometer. (Or try dipping a spoon and run your finger along the back. If the mixture is thick and keeps the line you made, then the eggs are cooked!)
- Add gelatin to the mixture and stir until completely combined. Put this mixture into the fridge until chilled - about an hour.
- Once chilled, you can work on the egg whites! I have made this two ways: One, you take the meringue powder and water and put that into a mixing bowl. Mix until there are a few bubbles. Now while on medium speed, add another 1/3 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar, and cream of tartar. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until stiff peaks form - about 8 minutes or more.
- Two - the other method is to set up a double boiler and add your egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water and cream of tartar. While the water boils below, the eggs will cook while you whisk them with a hand mixer. The egg mixture should reach 160 degrees and stiff peaks form.
- Fold the egg white mixture into the cooled pumpkin mixture.
- Add this to your crust. Chill at least 4 hours. Top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon if you like!
Recipe adapted from Parents Magazine