My mother makes Mrs. Eisenhower’s pumpkin chiffon pie. So did my maternal grandmother, so did my aunt, so does my cousin, so does my second cousin. It’s light, airy and not baked. Mom layers on the whipped cream and it’s the Cadillac of pumpkin pie.
However, the other members of my household strongly believe that baked pumpkin custard pie is proper pumpkin pie. They will not be dissuaded in their opinion (however wrong it happens to be). I feel sorry for them, sad misguided creatures.
The first time I had baked pumpkin pie, I was 5 years old, celebrating Thanksgiving in kindergarten. I looked at this dry, flat, over-baked slice of something vaguely pumpkin tasting, without the proper enveloping blanket of whipped cream, and declared that this wasn’t pumpkin pie. And discovered I was a lone voice of reason in a sea of bland pumpkin pie eaters.
Sadly, out in the world of other people with different family pie traditions, I continue to be the minority voice in what actually constitutes proper pumpkin pie.
I will make baked pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, since I am the outvoted minority voice. And because, apparently, pumpkin chiffon pie isn’t actually pie at all, To which, I argue, than what precisely is banana cream or chocolate cream pie? The argument continues …
Anyway, I usually bake Rose’s Great Pumpkin Pie recipe from the Pie and Pastry Bible. It’s a good compromise, since the pumpkin is super-smooth, and if you chill it long enough and put enough whipped cream on it, the texture is as close as I can get a custard pumpkin pie to the chiffon pumpkin pie. And it is a proper, baked pie. The sacrifices I make *sniff*.
Now add pecan to this already opinionated crew of pie purists. I was afraid it wouldn’t end well.
So I brought the pie to my MS support group on Wednesday, Thanksgiving eve and let them have it.
They LOVED it. Lori, the facilitator, wanted to eat the whole pie, she enjoyed it so much. I had a piece and it was really, really good.
The pumpkin was creamy and smooth, like the pumpkin in the Great Pumpkin Pie. Almost as light as the chiffon pie. The pecan layer was caramel-ly, crunchy and sticky, like a good pecan pie. The combination was balanced and not cloyingly sweet.
This pie may make it on the Thanksgiving menu next year. And everyone will be thankful.
This post is part of the Alpha Bakers bake-along. It’s an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared. If you see something amazing and want to know about the recipe please let me know. You might want to get the book for yourself, or at least check it out from your local library before deciding.