A simple, fluffy, and creamy spiced pumpkin filling is a great alternative to the classic pumpkin pie and can be made with a ginger snap or buttery pie crust.
If you are looking for something a little different this holiday season, this pumpkin pie is a great alternative to the classic pumpkin pie. We have always had this version of pumpkin pie and I think we used to make it on holidays because of the significantly lower amount of sugar because my dad wasn’t supposed to eat a lot of sugar. It’s a lighter version, which I like and miss when I have a classic pumpkin pie.
Why is it called a Chiffon pie?
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of chiffon is the sheer fabric most often used in dressmaking. It is airy and floats around beautifully. Chiffon pie doesn’t float the same way but it is wonderfully light and airy in texture. You typically fold the beaten egg white into a custard, use gelatin to stabilize it, and chill it until firm.
Why we love pumpkin chiffon pie
- The filling takes on a mousse-like mouth feel, which is because it is pretty much just pumpkin pie filling with beaten eggs folded in.
- The only part of this pie that needs to be baked is the blind bake buttery crust and then all you need to do is allow the pie to chill in the fridge until ready to use. Which is great for a holiday dinner table.
- The filling is made with pumpkin spice or fall spice for a great balance of warming spices having it all in one spice jar you don’t need to have 5-6 different spices in your spice cupboard which is always nice for the pantry.
- To finish the pie off with homemade whipped cream of course you can use refrigerated to save a little bit of time which we all need sometimes with holiday dinners.
Ingredients for pumpkin chiffon pie
- Pie crust: You have a few options here. buttery pie crust graham cracker crust or ginger snap crust.
- Unflavored Gelatin: A substitution for gelatin is a clear gel. If you don’t want to use gelatin, there are other alternatives, but I have not tried them out.
- Sugar When you are making the pumpkin pie filling, I use white sugar or brown sugar. You can use a sugar substitute but the amount might vary a little bit.
- Spices If you happen to have pumpkin spice, by all means, use that. If not, you will want to use cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I usually make do with what I have on hand or make a fresh batch of homemade Pumpkin spice for the winter months.
- Milk Use whole milk in this recipe. It will give you the creamy texture you are looking for. You can use coconut milk or any milk alternative here as well.
- Pumpkin Puree You can use canned pumpkin puree (you want to make sure it is pure pumpkin and not pie filling). If you have a homemade pumpkin puree that you have already, you can use that as well.
- Vanilla When you add vanilla to this recipe, it gives you this warm sweetness. I like to use homemade pure vanilla but use what you have.
- Whipped Cream I always use homemade whipped cream, which takes about 5 minutes and yields a lovely Lucious whipped cream, but refrigerated whipped cream can also be used for a quick whipped cream.
How to make Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
- Prepare pie crust Blind bake a pie crust and allow it to cool completely in the dish before placing it on a wire rack. Alternatively, you could buy a refrigerated pie crust.
- Dissolve gelatin in water This step is simple; simply dissolve the packet of gelatin in cold water and set it aside for 5 minutes.
- Make pumpkin pie filling On the stove, mix pumpkin puree, spices, egg yolks, milk, and some sugar. Cook for 5-7 minutes over medium heat just until the mixture thickens slightly. Don’t let it come to a boil.
- Add Gelatin Once the mixture is hot and slightly thick, add the dissolved gelatin and stir to combine.
- Cool Let the filling cool completely before adding the egg whites.
- Make meringue In a large bowl, beat egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Slowly add sugar to the meringue until you reach stiff peaks.
- Fold in and add the meringue into the cooled pumpkin filling, and then gently pour into the cooled pie crust
- Set and Serve Put it in the refrigerator until set, and then top with whipped cream and a light dusting of cinnamon.
Tips for the best results for pumpkin chiffon pie
- Don’t over whip You want to beat the raw egg whites until stiff peaks are reached and they hold their shape. You don’t want to overwhip them because the egg white will break.
- Homemade whipped cream making your own whipped cream vs. buying a container of whipped cream already whipped for you. Making your own only takes a few extra minutes and in my opinion, tastes so much better.
- Crust Try a graham cracker crust, ginger snap cookies, or any type of spiced cookie.
- Crunch for a little added texture add a sprinkle of chopped pecans to add a great finish to your pie.
- Instead of a butter or lard crust, you could try cookie cruse gingersnap, chocolate cookies, or graham crackers. They all add something to this pie.
- Adjust the spice amounts in the filling to your liking. I personally like a little bit more spice, but it’s to your preference.
- This recipe uses raw egg whites. If you prefer heated egg white, you can substitute a Swiss meringue.
The Best Pumpkin Pie
- 1 blind bake butter or cookie crust
- 2 cups Graham Cracker or Gingersnap
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 6 tbsp butter melted and cooled
- ¼ cup water
- 2-1/2 tsp geletin or 1 envelope
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp pumpkin spice see note for list of spices
- ¾ cup milk regular milk or alternative milk
- 3 large egg yolks lightly beaten
- 1-1/4 cup pureed pumpkin
- 3 large egg whites or 6 tbsp pasteurized egg whites
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¾ tsp cream of tartar
- 1-1/2 cup Whip cream or heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ⅓ cup icing sugar optional
- Blind-bake the pie crust in a 400 degree F. oven for 15 minutes with pie weights, then another 15 minutes until fully baked. Cool completely. If you are doing a cookie crust you can skip the pie weights.
- Dissolve the gelatin by sprinkling it over the water in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, combine ½ cup of the sugar, pumpkin spice or spice combination of (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves), egg yolks, milk, and pumpkin. Whisk well and cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes, just until the mixture is hot and has thickened slightly, but hasn't come to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the dissolved gelatin and vanilla. Cool completely to room temperature but don't refrigerate yet since the gelatin will set in the fridge.
- When the filling has cooled, beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Continue beating, gradually adding the remaining ¼ cup of sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the stiffened egg whites into the pumpkin mixture, then pour it into the cooled pie shell. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight until firm, then top with sweetened whipped cream and dust with cinnamon for a beautiful presentation.
- Add whipped cream or heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
- Use an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to beat the cream on medium speed until it starts to thicken. Increase to high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat a few seconds longer to stabilize the whipped cream, but be careful not to overwhip.
- Use immediately or store in the fridge in a covered container for 2-3 days.