Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Prep: 45 mins

Cook: 12 mins

Chilling Time: 4 hrs

Total: 4 hrs 57 mins

Servings: 8 to 10 slices

Yield: 1 9-inch pie

Chiffon pies were invented in 1926 by “Pie King” Monroe Boston Strause out of Los Angeles, CA. This lightweight and airy pie was named by his mother after the fabric of a similarly light texture.

What gives chiffon pie its signature mouthfeel is the aeration of whipped egg whites folded into a thickened cream base. Originally, the thickener was cornstarch but now these pies are usually stabilized with powdered gelatin.

Traditional pumpkin pies are a staple at every holiday table, but if you are like me and want to eat all the pies, this chiffon variation is an excellent lighter alternative so your dessert stomach has more room for the others.

“The delicious and textural ginger snap base really sets this recipe apart from other pumpkin pie recipes. The filling has a wonderful and rich flavour with a perfect texture. Despite the use of gelatine, the recipe isn’t rubbery in the slightest. The pie also holds incredibly well, so you can get a picture-perfect slice. It takes a little longer than other pumpkin pie recipes to make, but is well worth it as it’s a stunning pie to present at your thanksgiving dinner!” —Cara Cormack

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Crust:

  • 34 gingersnaps, or enough to yield 2 1/4 cups ground crumbs

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 2 3/4 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin

  • 3 tablespoons cold water

  • 3 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/4 cup lowfat buttermilk

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

For the Stabilized Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin

  • 1 tablespoon cold water

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

For the Crust

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  2. Combine the gingersnaps, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it yields fine crumbs.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  3. With the food processor running, drizzle in the melted butter until completely combined and the crumbs start to come together.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  4. Press the crumbs evenly into and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes. The crust should be slightly darker and harden once cooled. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

For the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  2. Bloom the gelatin by placing the water in a small dish and sprinkling the gelatin over it. Give it a quick stir to make sure all the gelatin granules are wet. Let it sit for 5 minutes until it congeals and becomes soft.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  3. Separate the eggs. Place the yolks in a medium mixing bowl and whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Make sure not to get any yolk in the egg whites or they will not whip up. Set the bowl with the egg whites aside.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  4. Whisk together the egg yolks, 1/2 cup of the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice until pale and smooth, about 1 minute.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  5. In a small pot warm the buttermilk and heavy cream over medium heat and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin until completely dissolved.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  6. With one hand, slowly pour the hot liquid into the egg yolk mixture while whisking with the other hand to prevent making scrambled eggs. Whisk until fully combined.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  7. Add the pumpkin purée and whisk to combine. Set aside while you whip the egg whites.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  8. Attach the bowl of egg whites to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed for about 45 seconds or until they start to get frothy.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  9. Turn the speed up to medium high and add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar little by little, allowing it to be incorporated after each addition.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  10. Whisk for another 2 to 3 minutes until stiff peaks form. Do not over whip or it will not fold in as nicely. The whites should look silky smooth like shaving cream, and not curdled or broken.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  11. Fold half of the whipped egg whites into the pumpkin mixture to lighten.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  12. Once fully incorporated, add the other half of the whipped whites and fold it in using broad intentional strokes until there are no more streaks.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  13. Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell and place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

For the Whipped Cream and Assembly

  1. Gather the whipped cream ingredients and prepared pie.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  2. Put the gelatin in a microwave-safe bowl or 1-cup measuring cup. Add the cold water and let stand for 5 minutes, until very thick.

    Put the thickened gelatin in the microwave. Microwave the gelatin until it dissolves and becomes liquid, 7 to 10 seconds. Check after 5 seconds, then check it every few seconds until it is completely liquefied but not hot. You can also use a double boiler to liquefy the gelatin mixture.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  3. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed in a large mixing bowl until it begins to thicken, then beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and continue beating until thick but not quite to the soft peak stage.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  4. While still beating constantly, pour the liquid gelatin into the cream in a thin stream (if the gelatin has thickened again, heat again for a few seconds, just until liquid but not hot). Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

  5. Spread the stabilized whipped cream on top of the cooled and set pie.

    Pumpkin Chiffon Pie


Raw Egg Warning: Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of foodborne illness. If this is an issue, you can substitute pasteurized high whip egg whites (most of the ones you will see at the supermarket will not whip up, so make sure to check before you buy). Alternatively, you can make a Swiss meringue topping, which is a cooked meringue.

Recipe Tips

  • You can substitute 3 1/2 silver gelatin sheets for powdered gelatin. But you will still need to bloom it by placing the sheets in ice water for 2 to 3 minutes until soft. Squeeze any excess water out of the sheets then place on a paper towel until ready to use. 
  • You can make your own pumpkin purée by steaming or roasting the flesh until soft then placing the cooked pumpkin into a blender to purée.

Recipe Variation

Don’t like gingersnaps? Try using graham crackers, vanilla wafers, Biscoff cookies, or a blind baked pie crust.

How to Store

The whole pie can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing the pie.

Make Ahead

The crust can be made ahead of time and kept wrapped in the fridge for 3 days, or frozen for 3 months.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 768
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 42g 54%
Saturated Fat 19g 93%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 482mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 92g 34%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 57g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 69mg 5%
Iron 6mg 36%
Potassium 291mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


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