My sister and her husband are total foodies. Gourmet Ghetto denizens, they are the quintessential Bay Area food and wine experts and I rely on them to be my culinary resource center. Their bookshelf is packed with artisan cookbooks that cover every technique, every cuisine, every taste.
At least once a month I call my sister with a recipe request. It's usually for something I'm craving, like cheesecake with a graham cracker crust.
"How do you make a graham cracker crust?"
"Just crush up some graham crackers with butter and sugar and press it into a pie tin."
The other day I wanted pumpkin mousse. I didn't think she'd have a pumpkin mousse recipe handy, but if she could give me the basics of mousse making, I could take it from there.
She pored through Joy of Cooking, Bon Apetit, Gourmet and a few others. No one seemed to have a mousse recipe let alone a pumpkin mousse. "Listen to this: Pumpkin Chiffon Pie."
This pie is light and fluffy like a mousse, but it doesn't leave you with a pound of heavy cream in your gut as mousse does. You don't even have to put it in a pie shell- I just put mine into dessert cups and it rocked my pumpkin lovin' world to no end.
1 T plain gelatin (1 envelope) soaked in 1/4 cup cold water
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup white or brown sugar to mix w/ egg yolks ( I use stevia but the ratios are hard to translate)
1/2 cup sugar for the egg whites
1- 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or a 16 oz can)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1. Beat slightly:
egg yolks, sugar, pumpkin, milk, salt, pumpkin pie spice.
2. Cook and stir slowly in a double boiler til thick. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in soaked gelatin, stir til dissolved.
4. Chill til set.
5. Whip til stiff 3 egg whites and 1/2 cup sugar.
Fold into cold pumpkin mixture.
6. Pour into dessert cups, a graham cracker crust, or baked pastry pie crust.
8. Serve with whipped cream.