How to have the perfect, non-stress Thanksgiving? Have everybody else cook for you. It wasn't really planned: Mom had a friend make the dressing, then she made the spinach madeline, one of my dear clients gave us the best smoked turkey I've ever put in my mouth, and Judy made the pecan pie. All that was left for me was this holiday staple.
It's a very old recipe - probably one of my oldest. My grandmother says it was my grandfather's grandmother's recipe... So that was my great-great grandmother. And to think - that was before electric mixers, so the eggs were beaten with a hand-crank egg beater! I know people who don't even know what those are.
The first time Mom ever went to my Dad's parents' house was for Thanksgiving. My grandmother held up the whole meal because she couldn't find this recipe. At first, Mom thought Grandmama was crazy.... Then she tried it and understood. It's a light, fluffy pie, so you can still eat it after a huge meal.
This recipe makes 2 pies. Don't worry - they won't go to waste.
2 baked pie shells, completely cooled
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar, split into half-cups
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (1 - 15 or 16 ounce can. Be sure to get just pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon gelatin (1 envelope Knox)
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1 pint Cool Whip or whipped cream
- Combine egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, pumpkin, milk and spices in a saucepan.
- Cook until thick. BE CAREFUL to have fully combined ingredients so the eggs don't scramble. This shouldn't take long - about 5 minutes to get it hot through.
- Soak gelatin in water for 5 minutes.
- Add pumpkin mixture, mix well, and set aside to let it cool.
- Once at room temperature, add rest of sugar and gently fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.
- Pour in pie shells and top with whipped cream or Cool Whip.