Over the last few days, I’ve given you some alternative recipes to make for Thanksgiving if you’re looking for a break

Photo from Aric Riley

from the traditional dishes.  I will end this series, however, with a traditional, tried and true favorite.  My Grandmother was an amazing intuitive cook, always experimenting and trying new twists on recipes. What makes this recipe interesting to me is the lightening of the typical pumpkin pie by folding in beaten egg whites. Sort of like a souffle and even when it cools it has a lovely, light texture that reminds me of her.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Makes one 9 inch pie serving 6 – 8

My Grandmother always roasted fresh pumpkin for her pies which is better (in my opinion) than canned.  You could also substitute freshly roasted butternut squash for the pumpkin.

For the Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground pecans
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) sweet butter, chilled
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
Drops of ice water as needed

Mix flour, pecans, sugar and salt together.  Cut butter into 1/4 inch bits and with a mixer quickly mix into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.  Mix in egg yolk and enough water so that dough just begins to come together.

Form into a smooth cake, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface and fit into a 9 inch pie pan.  Pinch and flute the edges decoratively.  Chill while preparing the filling.

For the Filling:
2-1/2 cups pumpkin puree
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger (1 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons melted sweet butter
3 large eggs, separated

Garnish:  Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Mix the pumpkin, sugar, spices, cream, rum and butter together in a bowl.  Beat in egg yolks.

Separately beat egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.  Carefully fold into pumpkin mixture and pour into prepared shell.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 – 45 minutes or until center is set and puffed.  As pie cools it will deflate somewhat.  Serve at room temperature garnished with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Happy Thanksgiving!