Cats, Cooking, and Life!

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Another month, another pie. And another seasonal one as well. Pumpkin, that fall classic, is as much as home at Thanksgiving as it is at Halloween. Or, for that matter, at any other time when pumpkin is available. No need to wait for a special occasion. We didn't.

Pie pumpkins, as they're called, show up everywhere these days, at least here in North America, and are very easy to turn into the smooth-textured, orange and tasty ingredient that makes you feel so much more confident in your pie than the canned version. According to most sources I've heard from, you can't even count on the canned pumpkin containing real pumpkin. That's not to say that they're no good for pies; of course they are. But saying "pumpkin pie" sounds so much better that "squash pie."

You could use the jack-o-lantern pumpkins for pie, but they're not as sweet, and are stringier in texture. So make it easy on yourself and get a pie pumpkin.

A little bit of a twist on traditional pumpkin pie, we opted for chiffon. That's a fancy way of saying it's fluffy from incorporating beaten egg whites. Sort of like an angel cake is fluffy.

What follows is a multi-stage preparation to produce the pie. None of it is difficult, but it does take a bit of time. Luckily, you can do everything ahead of serving time, and when it's time to serve, you simply take it out of the refrigerator, top with whipped cream and serve! That makes it the ideal finale for any meal where you want to impress.

Part 1: Prepare the Pumpkin

Using the pie recipe below, we found that one average pie pumpkin, 25 to 30 cm, is enough for about 3 pies. So you may want to make more pies and freeze them, or simply freeze the extra pumpkin for later use. Pumpkin is also good for spice bread, muffins and lots of other treats. Here's how to prepare it. You'll need a steamer, or a large bowl for the microwave.

Cut open

  1. Wash and gently scrub the pumpkin in cold or warm water. Don't use soap.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half. 
  3. Remove the stringy insides with a spoon. Save the seeds, if desired, to roast them as described below. 
  4. Remove the stem and cut the remaining pumpkin into pieces to fit into your steamer or bowl. 
  5. Cooking with a Steamer method: Boil enough water and cook the pumpkin for 20 minutes. 
  6. Cooking with a Microwave method: Put water in the bottom of the bowl, add the pumpkin and microwave it for about 20 minutes. You'll need to periodically stir or re-arrange the pieces for even cooking. Watch the water doesn't boil over. 
  7. The pumpkin is cooked when it is soft for a fork. 
  8. Remove the outer skin using a sharp knife. 
  9. Place the remaining pumpkin in a food processor or bowl. Puree or mash it. At this point you may make your pie, or freeze the unused portion in an airtight container.

Scooping the inside

In the steamer

Removing the skin

Puree in a mixer

Part 2: Pumpkin Seeds

If you like pumpkin seeds, you can roast them. We think they taste good but are too small and much work so don't always make them. One pumpkin does not provide many seeds but they're tasty.

  1. Remove the seeds from the stringy parts of the pumpkin 
  2. Wash the seeds. The best way I found is to put them in a bowl of water and rub them with your hands. The seeds float and the pumpkin "strings" sink. 
  3. Place the seeds on a cookie sheet or other oven pan. 
  4. Optionally season the seeds with melted butter combined with garlic, lemon, green herbs like dried basil or just about anything else you like. 
  5. Place the pan in a low oven 150 C (275 F) for about 20 minutes more or less, depending on how wet the seeds were. You should stir them every 5 minutes to make sure they are evenly cooked. Be sure to watch them closely as they can burn easily. They are done when they are dried and slightly brown. 
  6. Cool 
  7. Enjoy. Crack the shell and eat the insides.

Ready to bako

Ready to eat

Part 3: Pumpkin Chiffon Pie 

 Here are the ingredients for one pie. You'll need a baked pie shell, about 25 cm (9 in). Please look at our pastry recipe for Rhubarb-Strawberry pie, or make your own, or purchase one. But you'll only need a single crust.

For this recipe, you'll need a double boiler. Or do as we did and use two pots, one to fit inside the other.


  • 1 envelope unflavoured gelatin (7 g or 1 Tbsp) 
  • 125 ml cold water (1/2 cup) 
  • 4 eggs, separated 250 ml evaporated milk (1 cup) 
  • 250 ml pumpkin, either prepared as above or canned (1 cup)
  • 180 ml brown sugar (or white sugar if you prefer) (3/4 cup) 
  • 2 ml salt (1/2 tsp) 2 ml nutmeg (1/2 tsp) 
  • 2 ml ground cinnamon (1/2 tsp) 
  • 1 ml ground ginger (1/4 tsp) 
  • 250 ml whipping cream, whipped (1 cup)


  1. Dissolve gelatin in cold water. Set aside to soften. 
  2. In double boiler heat the egg yolks, milk, pumpkin, 1/2 cup brown sugar and spices. Cook, stirring for 10 minutes. 
  3. Remove the mixture from heat, add gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Refrigerate until it's thick. It needs to be thick to combine with the egg whites in the next step. Otherwise the egg whites will float to the top. 
  4. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into pumpkin mixture. 
  5. Pour into the pie shell and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
  6. Whip the cream and give everyone a spoonful on their slice (the size of the spoon is open to interpretation).

Whipping the egg whites

Our makeshift double boiler

Baked crust

And enjoy!

After refrigeration

We know Bow-Tie Calico did!



Anonymous said...

Oh L A L A

Post a Comment