Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with a Triple Gingersnap Crust

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with a Triple Gingersnap Crust.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

This recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie is a classic that was handed down from my grandmother to my mother and then to me. With only minor tweaks in spices, cookie crust, and the use of agar agar in place of gelatin to keep this a vegetarian dessert, I have been wanting to share this recipe for years but Thanksgiving always comes upon me faster than I expect it to and I miss any type of decent window to share and allow people time to actually prepare to make this wonderfully light, fluffy, and unforgettable Thanksgiving favorite.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

So what’s so different about this pumpkin pie vs. a traditional or even >gasp< store-bought pie? Well, two things, actually. First, it’s the delightful addition of whipped egg whites that gives this Pumpkin Chiffon Pie its light and airy appeal. I find it to be just what I need after (typically) such a heavy Thanksgiving dinner with the mashed potatoes and the green bean casserole and the Chocolate Chipotle Seared Salmon my pescetarian self will be enjoying in place of turkey.

The second is the amazing gingersnap crust that takes place of the traditional graham cracker one. Now, I have been making just a regular gingersnap crust for years, which is fine… But then I discovered Trader Joe’s Triple Gingersnap Cookies that are perfectly crispy, gingery, and have actual chunks of candied ginger in them and I’ve never used a different cookie ever since. Of course, any gingersnap will do, but if you can get your hands on the Trader Joe’s ones, I very very strongly suggest you use them.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with a Triple Gingersnap Crust

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/4 Cups Gingersnap Cookie Crumbs
  • 5 Tbsp Melted Unsalted Butter

Process gingersnap cookies in your food processor or magic bullet until crumbs. It will take a little more than half of a 14 oz. tub of Trader Joe’s Triple Gingersnaps to make 1 1/4 cups of crumbs.

Mix the crumbs thoroughly with melted butter and press firmly onto the bottom and sides of  a 9 inch glass pie plate. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Gingersnap Cookie Crust

Heat oven to 300°. Place chilled pie crust into the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before filling.

For the Filling:

  • 3 Eggs, separated
  • 1 1/4 Cups Strained, Cooked Sugar Pumpkin Puree (canned or homemade)
  • 2 Tbsp. Melted Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. Allspice
  • 6 Tbsp. White Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Agar Agar Flakes (or powder)*
  • 1/4 Cup Water

In your double boiler, mix 1/4 Cup Water with 1 Tbsp Agar Agar flakes. Cook, stirring periodically, until the mixture becomes a thickened liquid about the consistency of an eggwhite.

In a separate bowl, beat Egg Yolks Slightly with a fork or whisk and place in a double boiler with agar, pumpkin, butter, brown sugar, salt, and spices. Cook until mixture thickens, stirring periodically (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from heat.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Allow pumpkin mixture to cool to near room temperature, stirring periodically to keep the agar from fully setting.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Beat egg whites stiff and slowly add white sugar while beating until stiff glossy peaks form.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Fold the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture and pour into the pie crust. Chill for at least 2 hours in refrigerator.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (or both, I won’t judge!) and enjoy!

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with a Triple Gingersnap Crust

*Agar agar powder can usually be found in your local Asian or International supermarket. I have also seen it at Whole Foods, but for a very very expensive price. If you are not a vegetarian you can substitute gelatin for the agar agar and the mixture would be 1/4 cup of cold water with 1 Tbsp (1 package) of gelatin. You mix the 2 together and allow them to set, then pour into the pumpkin mixture after removing from heat and stir through. Please remember that gelatin is derived from pig and cow hides, so as a vegetarian, vegan, or pescetarian it is not a suitable food additive. Agar agar is a sea plant and is therefore suitable to an animal-free diet.

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Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with Triple Gingersnap Crust
 
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This Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with a Triple Gingersnap Crust is a light and airy alternative to the traditionally dense pumpkin pie. This is a vegetarian pie incorporating agar agar instead of gelatin and is sure to be a hit at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 10
Ingredients
For the Crust:
  • 1¼ Cups Gingersnap Cookie Crumbs
  • 5 Tbsp Melted Unsalted Butter
For the Filling:
  • 3 Eggs, separated
  • 1¼ Cups Strained, Cooked Sugar Pumpkin Puree (canned or homemade)
  • 2 Tbsp. Melted Unsalted Butter
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. Ground Cloves
  • ⅛ tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ⅛ tsp. Allspice
  • 6 Tbsp. White Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Agar Agar Powder*
  • ¼ Cup Water
Instructions
For the Crust:
  1. Process gingersnap cookies in your food processor or magic bullet until crumbs. It will take a little more than half of a 14 oz. tub of Trader Joe's Triple Gingersnaps to make 1¼ cups of crumbs.
  2. Mix the crumbs thoroughly with melted butter and press firmly onto the bottom and sides of a 9 inch glass pie plate. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat oven to 300. Place chilled pie crust into the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before filling.
For the Filling:
  1. In your double boiler, mix ¼ Cup Water with 1 Tbsp Agar Agar flakes. Cook, stirring periodically, until the mixture becomes a thickened liquid about the consistency of an eggwhite.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat Egg Yolks Slightly with a fork or whisk and place in a double boiler with agar, pumpkin, butter, brown sugar, salt, and spices. Cook until mixture thickens, stirring periodically (about 8-10 minutes). Remove from heat.
  3. Allow mixture to cool to or near room temperature, stirring periodically to keep the agar from fully setting.
  4. Beat egg whites stiff and slowly add white sugar while beating until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold the egg whites gently into the pumpkin mixture and pour into the pie crust. Chill for at least 2 hours in refrigerator.
  5. Serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (or both, I won't judge!) and enjoy!
Notes
(please note that preparation time includes 4 hours of chill time in the refrigerator before serving. Best made the day or night before serving.)

*Agar agar powder can usually be found in your local Asian or International supermarket. I have also seen it at Whole Foods, but for a very very expensive price. If you are not a vegetarian you can substitute gelatin for the agar agar and the mixture would be ¼ cup of cold water with 1 Tbsp (1 package) of gelatin. You mix the 2 together and allow them to set, then pour into the pumpkin mixture after removing from heat and stir through. Please remember that gelatin is derived from pig and cow hides, so as a vegetarian, vegan, or pescetarian it is not a suitable food additive. Agar agar is a sea plant and is therefore suitable to an animal-free diet.

 

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2 Responses to “Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with a Triple Gingersnap Crust”

  1. November 29, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    This pie is to die for. Love the pumpkin and gingersnap combo!

  2. Sarah
    November 16, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

    I made this today and think it’s excellent. Next time I would increase the crust; mine covers the bottom of my pie pan but doesn’t go up the sides at all.

    I used 2 tablespoons of sugar instead of 6 in the egg whites because I think it was sweet enough. Next time I may skip the white sugar all together.

Your comments make my heart (and my piglet) smile!

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