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Pumpkin Chiffon Pie is a fluffy, creamy gently spiced pumpkin filling mounded into a buttery gingersnap crust. Because it sets up in your refrigerator, it requires just 5 minutes of baking time total for the crust and can be made a day in advance. So convenient for your holiday menu and a dessert that everyone at your table will love.

slice of pumpkin chiffon pie on a white plate with whole pie in background.

When you think of the word ‘chiffon,’ you might think of fabric that’s delicate and feather light. Those words are exactly how you would describe this classic dessert. It’s similar to a traditional pumpkin pie, but instead of a pudding-like texture, the filling has a creamy, light texture that’s reminiscent of mousse. In a spiced crust made with gingersnaps, butter and a whisper of cinnamon, it’s a slice that no one can resist. Try it once, and I predict it will be a new family favorite.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie Ingredient List

For the Crust

Gingersnap Crust Ingredients on a white marble board.
  • Gingersnap Cookies: Be sure the cookies you choose are very crisp as you’ll be whirling them into fine crumbs in your food processor. These homemade Gingersnap Cookies are ideal. 
  • Sugar: granulated white sugar
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Butter: if using unsalted butter, add a large pinch of kosher salt

For the Filling

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie Ingredients on a white marble board.
  • Unflavored Gelatin Powder
  • Eggs: large or extra-large eggs
  • Sugar: granulated white sugar
  • Unsweetened Pumpkin Puree: or fresh cooked pumpkin puree
  • Milk: ideally whole milk
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Kosher Salt
  • Sweetened Whipped Heavy Cream: optional, but recommended for serving

FAQ

Who invented chiffon pie?

A man named Monroe Boston Strause, known at “The Pie King,” invented chiffon pie in Los Angeles, California in 1926. His original version involved folding beaten egg whites into a cornstarch thickened liquid. Modern versions of the pie still fold whipped egg whites into mixtures resembling fruit curd (like lemon curd) or pureed pumpkin.

How is chiffon pie different from mousse or cream pie?

Both are light and airy, the main difference is that chiffon pies have meringue (whipped egg whites and sugar) folded in instead of whipped cream.

Recipe Options

  • Instead of a Gingersnap Crust, serve this pie in a prepared pie crust (like the Lard Pie Crust I use in my Chocolate Rum Pie) or in a graham cracker crust or the Almond Flour Crust from my Cranberry Curd Tart.
  • Feel free to adjust the amounts and variety of spices in the filling to suit your tastes. Use more or less cinnamon and nutmeg and/or add ground ginger or ground cloves. 
  • Note that this recipe uses raw egg whites. If you prefer to use egg whites that have been heated, use a Swiss Meringue instead, recipe here.

How to Make Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Add gingersnap cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Add sugar and cinnamon and pulse to combine. Pour in melted butter and pulse to combine.

Press crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan (a dry measuring cup makes this easier). Bake 5 minutes in a 350˚F preheated oven. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, dissolve gelatin in 1/4 cup of cold water; set aside.

Combine egg yolks, ¼ cup of the sugar, pumpkin, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium saucepan and cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Stir in softened gelatin and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

In a separate large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy on medium speed. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and beat until whites are thick and glossy and soft peaks form. Fold into filling mixture and pour into cooled gingersnap crust. Smooth top and cover; chill at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Recipe Video

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 3 hours 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 347
Servings: 8 people
Fluffy, creamy pumpkin pie in a buttery gingersnap crust! Recipe adapted from Canal House Cooks Every Day.

Ingredients  

For the Crust

  • 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs ~9 ounces Gingersnap Cookies
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted and cooled slightly

For the Filling

  • 1 envelope unflavored powdered gelatin 2 1/2 teaspoons
  • 3 large eggs yolks and whites separated
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar divided
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree or fresh cooked pumpkin, 300g
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream for serving, optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Pulse gingersnap cookies in a food processor until you have fine crumbs (about 2 cups). Add sugar and cinnamon and pulse a few times to combine. Pour melted butter over and pulse until mixture is well combined.
  • Transfer crumb mixture to a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan and use a measuring cup to firmly press the mixture evenly onto bottom and up the sides. Bake 5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of cold water in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan combine egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the sugar, pumpkin, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; cook and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add softened gelatin and stir to combine; transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool.
  • In another large mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy; gradually add remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue beating until egg whites hold soft peaks and are thick and glossy. Gently fold whites into filling mixture; pour into baked gingersnap crust and smooth with a rubber spatula. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or overnight. Slice and serve with dollops of lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream if desired.

Notes

  1. Note that nutrition information does not include the whipped cream.
  2. If you’re concerned about consuming the raw egg whites in this meringue, use a Swiss meringue instead. A good recipe can be found at seriouseats.com.

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 433mg | Potassium: 174mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 390IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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16 Comments

  1. Liz says:

    We were at a wedding in Chicago this weekend, and the 96 year old grandmother of the groom made this pie when we joined the family for Thanksgiving one year. I adored it, but, of course, Bill prefers the traditional version. Maybe I need to make both and see what my children think!! It looks wonderful.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I love that, Liz, wow! I hope I’ll still be baking at 96!

  2. Ben | Havocinthekitchen says:

    I’ve never made a chiffon cake – but oh my goodness – this looks phenomenal. The texture is truly terrific, so airy and light. Great job and use of those gingersnaps!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thanks so much, Ben!

  3. Valentina says:

    Marissa, I love your gingersnap posts leading up to this amazing pie — and of course, the pie! It looks so light and fluffy. Cookie crusts are the best and the ginger flavor this time of year is lovely. 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thank you, Valentina. I agree about the ginger flavor – I always crave warm spices in the colder months.

  4. MaryAnn | The Beach House Kitchen says:

    5 stars
    One of our Thanksgiving holiday favorites Marissa! And I just love it with the gingersnap crust!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thank you, Mary Ann! Yes, I saw that we were simpatico on this pie. Love that you shared your family’s recipe.

  5. angiesrecipes says:

    The filling looks really light and airy! A perfect pie for Fall 🙂

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thank you, Angie!