Published November 1, 2006.
A no-bake pumpkin pie sounds appealing, but not if the filling is starchy or dense. Could we reformulate this recipe and make it worthy of the holiday table?
It’s not worth saving time if you end up with a pie with a crumbly crust and poorly textured filling.
We wanted creaminess as well as lightness. And we didn't want the hassle of making pie pastry during a busy holiday season.
Our classic graham cracker crust provided a simple and sturdy base for our pie. We achieved the right consistency for our filling by choosing the right thickener: a modest amount (2 teaspoons) of gelatin that prevented the tough, rubbery texture found in pies made with too much thickener. To attain the optimal rich, velvety texture for our filling, we gave the canned pumpkin a quick whirl in the food processor to make it truly smooth, and also replaced the whipped egg whites of classic chiffon-style pies with a simple custard—the yolks were necessary for a luxurious texture. For complexity, we added a mix of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, but we first heated them in the cream to soften their harshness. A combination of orange juice and vanilla extract added a sweet, perfumed punch.list of recipes