A Family That Eats Together, Thanksgiving Edition: Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

November 19, 2012

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with Graham Cracker CrustMarin Mommies presents this week's guest recipe from Nicole Cibellis, Marin mom and author of the blog A Family that Eats Together, where she shares meal plans and recipes and family dining ideas that will please foodies and children alike. Nicole is also the creator of the new Little Froglet line of children's activewear. Check out Nicole's meal plan for this week.

This week, we feature a selection of Nicole's fantastic recipes for Thanksgiving. We'll start with dessert first—a pumpkin chiffon pie with graham cracker crust, and highlight more delicious dishes throughout the week.


Graham cracker crust

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly warm
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pumpkin filling

  • 1 envelope (about 1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon or water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped and reserved

Whipped cream

  • 1 1/4 cups very cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped and reserved


For the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Add all the ingredients for the crust to a food processor and pulse until combined; it should feel like wet sand, and just come together.
  3. Spread the mixture evenly into a 9-inch pie pan, using your finger tips or the flat bottom of a glass. Firmly press the mixture over the bottom and sides of the pan.
  4. Put the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until the crust is light brown and firm to the touch, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the filling

  1. In a small bowl sprinkle gelatin over bourbon or water and let stand.
  2. In a heavy saucepan whisk together milk, brown sugar, yolks, pumpkin, spices, and salt and cook over moderately low heat, whisking, until mixture registers 160°F. on a candy thermometer. Remove pan from heat and immediately add gelatin mixture, whisking until gelatin is completely dissolved.
  3. Transfer filling to a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and cool, stirring constantly, just until the consistency of raw egg white. Remove bowl from ice water.
  4. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat cream until it holds stiff peaks and whisk about one fourth into filling to lighten. Fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly and pour filling into crust. Chill pie until set, at least 3 hours and up to 24, covered with plastic wrap after 1 hour.

For the whipped cream

  1. Combine the cream and vanilla seeds in a large chilled bowl and whip until soft peaks form.
  2. Garnish each piece of pie with a dollop of the whipped cream before serving.