This past weekend was Thanksgiving and oh boy, did we eat! It was a meal of firsts. I brined a turkey and it seriously was the best turkey ever. I’m sure it helped that we used a free-run organic beast, but I think everyone that ate dinner with us agreed that brining is the bomb. Another first was that I made a chiffon pie from a cookbook that I received from a publicity firm. Before you knock my cred, please note that I pretty much turn down all freebies and opportunities to review products. But I actually wanted this cookbook, so I decided to take them up on their offer of In the Kitchen with Anna: New Ways with the Classics by Food Network star Anna Olson. I had interviewed Anna last spring and she was super nice, so I was curious to try one of her recipes.
The book is filled with comfort foods, great photos and the recipes seem simple, straight-forward and made with everyday ingredients. However, it was a recipe for pumpkin chiffon pie that caught my eye. It’s a bit more fuss than any other pie I’ve made and certainly takes more steps than the traditional pumpkin pie. But I’ve been watching a lot of Mad Men – Season One lately, and the idea of a billowy retro dessert really appealed.
I am the first to admit that I stray away from most recipes, adding a bit more of this or adding in something completely different. But I decided to err on the side of caution and follow the recipe exactly-ish. The crust seemed to come together well and I really liked Anna’s tip of grating the frozen shorting and butter on a box grater for instantly small bits of fat. As for making the chiffon, the recipe called for 4 large egg yolks and I only had tiny medium sized yolks and I threw in an extra one for good measure. The directions also called for the yolks to cook up to a ribbony stage. I don’t think I got there. After whisking for the recommended 5 minutes, no ribbons appeared…even after 8 minutes. So I just figured to move on with the rest of the recipe.
Once I piled the filling into the crust, the pie did look pretty spectacular. It was voluminous as a 1950s party dress and definitely impressive to serve. The chiffon didn’t completely set but I think it was because I didn’t cook the yolks long enough…get to the ribbon stage and I’m sure you’d have better luck. But how did it taste? While it was generally liked, I found the filling a bit too sweet and would recommend to cut down the sugar from 1 cup to just a scant 3/4 cups or less. Don’t want to go through the fuss of making a crust, Anna suggests that the filling would work well as a mousse…just skip the pie dough and spoon the filling into dessert glasses and top with toasted pecans for a pretty garnish.
pumpkin chiffon pie
for the pastry:
6 T unsalted butter
6 T vegetable shortening
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
2 T sugar
1/2 t fine salt
4-5 T ice water
for the chiffon:
2 T gelatin powder
4 large egg yolks
1 c sugar (next time I’d reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup or a bit less)
2 c pumpkin puree
2 T brandy
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t cloves
2 c whipping cream (35%)
1 T vanilla extract
For the pastry, freeze the butter & shortening for 30 minutes. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Using a box grater, grate the chilled butter and shortening into the flour. Toss this mixture with your fingers to coat the fats, breaking up lumps with your fingers as you go. The dough should be a rough, crumbly texture and take on a slight yellow tone. Add 3 T of the water, and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon to bring the dough together, adding a little more water if needed. Shape the dough into a disc and chill for an hour before rolling.
Preheat oven to 375F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle just less than 1/4-inch thick. Gently life the dough and line a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edges and cinch into a fluted pattern. Chill the dough in the pie plate for 15 minutes. Line the pastry with foil and weigh down the dried beans, rice or pie weights. Bake the shell for 20 minutes, then remove the weights and foil and bake 10 minutes more, or until the bottom centre of the pie shell is dry. Cool completely before serving.
For the pumpkin chiffon, soften gelatin in 2 T of cold water. In a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water, whisk the egg yolks and sugar plus 2 T water until the mixture doubles in volume and holds a ribbon when the whisk is lifted (about 5 minutes). Fold in the pumpkin, brandy and spices and chill until cool but not set, about half an hour.
While it’s chilling, whip the cream to soft peaks and add the vanilla. Fold into mousse in 2 additions and then scrape into cooled pie shell. Refrigerate the pie for at least 4 hours before serving. Makes one 9-inch pie. Serves 6 to 8.
Happy belated Thanksgiving!! Oh my, what a pie!! Yum :0)
This is one serious pie! I love it, it’s as gorgeous and appealing as a 50’s party dress just like you say! 🙂
OMG that looks so good.
i love pumpkin chiffon!! it’s what my mom always made 🙂
My Thanksgiving was spent donating bags of old clothes and shoes to a local Goodwill and stopping by my favourite gelato shop for copious amounts of gelato…bacio and honey with peanut butter are two of my new found faves 🙂
As Jennie already mentioned, your rolling pin is rad! Is that pink rubber on the surface? Oh, and Mad Men is slowly become and addiction!
Your pumpkin chiffon pie sounds dreamy and looks delicious! I like sickly sweet desserts like baklava so I think the sugar content in this pie might be perfect for me.
The name is enticing, and sounds like a pleasant alternative to pumpkin pie. Apropos using the filling as a mousse, you might want to stress that the eggs should be pasteurized if they’re not going into the oven.
I love your baking-roller! Dough-roller? What the f***? Have totally forgotten what that thingamajig is called en anglais. Anyhoo, it’s fab.
Yummy! I love anything pumpkin and chiffon pies as so tasty. Light and airy and make you feel you can eat more than just one piece! Also…LOVE Mad Men! 🙂
Now I know why all these Thanksgiving posts have been appearing! It was Thanksgiving in Canada.
It gives me enough time to collect recipes for the US thanksgiving in November 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Rolling pin! Thanx Bijou! Cannot believe I forgot a word for something so banal!
I’ve never made a chiffon anything, but this looks like a good place to start. I’d love to get my hands on that cookbook, too!
What a pie. Here comes fall and this is exactly what I am going to try this weekend. Thanks!
It looks delicious, and I love the idea of serving it as a mousse!
wow, that looks great! Next year I am inviting myself over to your house for Thanksgiving dinner! 🙂
I was in a retro mood this past week too!
Oh my goodness that sounds and looks divine. I want some!
Grating bits of shortening! How perfectly clever! I must try that.
I also need to give Mad Men a go; everyone raves about it.
Great pie…must try this. Bookmarked!
oh, pumpkin chiffon pie! This is the only kind of pie my dad will eat, since it’s all my grandma ever made for fall holidays. I’m a little scared of making one, since there’s all that raw egg white, but that never stopped me from eating it at grandma’s house 🙂
jennie, the eggs are cooked over the stove in a double boiler for a good amount of time (i did 8 minutes), so i *think* they would be fine, but it’s true, there still might be some danger! of course, you should use the freshest eggs you can find 🙂 And that would be a rolling pin!
thanks veggiegirl, it was quite a pie!
cakespy, it was definitely a girly party dress kind of pie. yum!
ttfn300, i had no idea they were so popular!
nothing wrong with a little cleaning up, bijoux! the rolling pin was gifted to me from a friend who found it at a thrift store. it’s not rubber, just plastic…but its’ my favorite rolling pin!
sarah, indeed it was so light and airy! i only wish it was so light in calories.
cookbook fanatic, i hope you try this!
amitious, yup, it was canadian thanksgiving over here!
aimee, the pie was more of a challenge than i’m used to, but i’m glad i chose it as the first recipe to make out of that book. it was fun!
lisaiscooking, yes, that is such a great tip!
hag, you’re invited! hooray for retro 🙂
thanks judy, it was pretty high on the divine scale of things!
dawn, i know, so clever! mad men is awesome. enjoy the pie and the tv 🙂
eileen, there’s no egg white in this pie whatsoever! there is some cooked egg yolks only and a ton of whipped cream 🙂
Simple sassy and decedent! nice pie
Mmm, it is billowy indeed. Looks well worth the effort!
thanks stephen, it was all of those things in one fluffy bite!
cookie baker lynn, thanks, i think it was worth it 🙂
Ooo yum billowy indeed!! Too bad for me it has gelatin.
I think I am in love with your rolling pin! What a lovely piece of equipment!
I love this! I also have a thing for retro desserts, and this is really appealing. I’ll definitely whip it up this fall. Your blog is beautiful!