November 24, 2013

New Twist on My Grandmother's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

My grandfather's father was a 19th century country doctor. When my grandfather was kicked in the head by a horse, his father didn't mess around. He took my grandfather in the kitchen and performed surgery on the kitchen table. A pumpkin pie was in the oven, ruining the traditional pumpkin pie forever for the young patient - and I imagine the rest of his family, as well.

When my grandparents married, my grandmother was determined to make a pumpkin pie that my grandfather would eat. She found a recipe for pumpkin chiffon pie in a magazine and sure enough, the pie was a hit. It was the only pumpkin pie Granddaddy would eat, and it has been a mainstay of my family's holiday meals for nearly 90 years.

Inspired by a post on my friend Lea's Facebook wall, I decided to try to make a healthier version of Grandmother's recipe. The texture is a little different, but it's still delicious, and has the lighter feel of a chiffon pie.

I changed Grandmother's traditional pie crust by going gluten-free. Similar to a graham cracker crust but with a bit of a crunch, it's the perfect complement to the flavor of pumpkin.

4 1.2 oz. bags of Kay's Naturals "Almond Delight" Protein Puffs
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Crush the almond puffs. (I put mine in a blender but a rolling pin would work.) Pour melted butter over the crushed puffs and mix thoroughly. Press into a pie pan and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.

1 15 oz. can of Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin Pie Mix
1 envelope of plain gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
3 eggs (separated)
1/2 cup soy milk (I used the Pumpkin Spice flavor, but Vanilla would work, too.)
1/4 cup maple syrup (separated)

Soften gelatin in water and set aside. Beat egg yolk and add soy milk, pumpkin pie mix, and 1/8 cup maple syrup. Cook until mixture thickens. Lower the heat and add gelatin and stir in until thoroughly dissolved. The gelatin will thin the mixture somewhat, so continue to cook on low heat until mixture thickens again. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Beat egg whites with remaining 1/8 cup of maple syrup. Fold into pumpkin mix. Pour into baked crust and chill.

We let it cool a couple of hours before my mom and I each tried a piece. Like her father before her, Mom declared it a hit, although she did suggest that it could use Grandmother's crowning touch...Cool Whip.

I guess there's a limit to how healthy you can go with a holiday favorite.

Until next time, 

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure dwells in you as well. ~ 2 Timothy 1:5

1 comment:

  1. I love this pumpkin pie recipe and will soon try it . . . if I ever
    make another pie. My last one was at least two months ago.
    Thank you for your sweet encouragement at my place. Aging
    parents are quite an upheaval. I keep wanting to say, "I raised
    five teenagers and am not going to put up with this." But, of
    course, I can't say that to my parents. sheesh.