Three-Layer Pumpkin Pie Recipe

This extra special pumpkin pie — with pumpkin custard and pumpkin chiffon — is a holiday dessert worthy of the most special occasions.
By Bradley Ogden with Lydia Scott
February 2013
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With preparation schedules, sample menus and instructive sidebars, chef Bradley Ogden takes the guesswork out of holiday dinner preparation so that you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with the family.
Cover Courtesy Running Press
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Thanksgiving Week - 2013

A celebration of family for Thanksgiving.

Award-winning chef Bradley Ogden presents his first cookbook in over a decade. Holiday Dinners with Bradley Ogden (Running Press, 2011) includes 150 cherished recipes for a range of winter holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s — in one delicious guide for making the most memorable meals for the most special occasions. In this excerpt, find the step-by-step guide to a decadent three-layer pumpkin pie. 

You can buy this book in the GRIT store: Holiday Dinners With Bradley Ogden.

A family favorite, this three-layer confection is talked about well before the holidays approach. Not only is this a visually appealing pie but also a symphony of marvelous pumpkin flavors and textures. This pie contains uncooked egg whites; because of the slight risk of salmonella, raw eggs should not be served to the very young, the ill or elderly, or to pregnant women. Use pasteurized liquid egg whites if you are uncomfortable using raw egg whites or see the note for a variation with cooked egg whites.

Three-Layer Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie, Serving 8 

Sour Cream Piecrust Recipe 

Lay the prepared dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll the dough outward from its center into a 12-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick. Loosely fold into quarters and transfer to a 9-inch glass pie plate and delicately unfold and press it into the pie plate, letting the excess hang over the pie plate. Trim off the excess dough to about 1/2-inch larger than the edge of the pie plate. Tuck the excess 1/2-inch of dough underneath itself to form a neat, even edge that sits on the top the pie plate and press a decorative trim with your thumb and forefinger. Line the pie shell with a double layer of foil and fill with pie weights, old beans, or pennies.

Bake the piecrust for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and continue to bake the crust until light golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes longer. Place pie plate on cooling rack while assembling pumpkin custard. Keep oven on.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Mixture 

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the spice mixture; set aside.

Pumpkin Custard Recipe 

3/4 cups heavy cream
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon brandy
1 teaspoon Spice Mixture
1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin purée
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

While the pie shell is baking, whisk the cream, eggs, brandy, and 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture in a medium bowl until combined. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, and white sugar; whisk to combine. Pour the pumpkin custard into the warm pre-baked piecrust. Bake until the edges of the pie are set and the center registers 175°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 30 minutes. Cool the pie to room temperature on a cooling rack, 1 to 2 hours, then refrigerate.

Pumpkin Chiffon Recipe 

1 envelope (1 tablespoon) unflavored granulated gelatin
11/2 cups canned unsweeted pumpkin purée
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons Spice Mixture
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon granulated sugar 

In a small saucepan, combine the gelatin and 1/4 cold water and soak for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, yolks, and 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture. While stirring constantly, bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and transfer to a medium bowl; set aside. Place saucepan with the gelatin over low heat until completely melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the gelatin to the chiffon mixture; stir until thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator until mixture is just set and the center jiggles slightly when shaken, 15 to 20 minutes.

Whipped Cream 

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

In medium bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream on medium speed until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium high and sprinkle in the sugar; continue to whip the cream until it thickens and forms stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup; cover and place in refrigerator until needed.

Assembling the Pie 

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350°F.

Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. While the mixer is running sprinkle in the sugar, increase the mixer speed to medium high, and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a whisk, stir about one-quarter of the whipped egg whites into the chiffon mixture to lighten it; using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg whites and reserved 1/4 cup heavy cream until no white streaks remain. Spread the chiffon mixture onto the prepared pumpkin pie, mounding it slightly in the middle. Spread the whipped cream attractively over the top of the pie. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.

Note: If you prefer to cook your egg-white meringue, place a medium bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and add the egg whites and sugar. Lightly whisk until the egg whites register 140°F on an instant-read thermometer or they are hot to the touch. Pour the hot whites into a room-temperature bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until doubled in volume and stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Resume recipe, using these cooked whipped whites in place of the uncooked whipped whites.

More Holiday Dinners With Bradley Ogden Recipes:

Corn and Sage Stuffing Recipe 
Winter Vegetable Salad Recipe
Cornish Game Hens Recipe With Spiced Cherry Marinade
Holiday Dinners: A Cooking Philosophy   

Reprinted with permission from Holiday Dinners with Bradley Ogden, © 2011 by Bradley Ogden, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group. Buy this book from our store: Holiday Dinners with Bradley Ogden. 


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