Grandma Elsie’s Famous Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
With the holiday season around the corner, leadership consultant, speaker and author David Grossman is preparing for a much-loved annual Thanksgiving tradition – Grandma Elsie’s Famous Pumpkin Chiffon Pie and other crowd-favorite recipes.
Instead of getting holiday gifts for friends and neighbors, Elsie Edelstein, whom Grossman adopted as his grandmother, made pumpkin pies and hand-delivered them before Thanksgiving. The blessing, as she used to say, was in the making (“food brings people together”) and in giving (“it’s better to give than receive!”)
A tradition that started with one creative and thoughtful woman was quickly adopted by her daughters and grandchildren, along with friends and neighbors, and by Grossman. For more than a decade, The Grossman Group has sent Elsie’s famous spices and shared her treasured recipes with clients, family and friends.
Grossman says Grandma Elsie helped him appreciate and pass on a wonderful spirit of thanksgiving and generosity with anyone who appreciates amazing food.
“These aren’t just any old pies,” Grossman says. “They are the most delicious, mouth-watering pumpkin pies you’ve ever tasted. Even people who don’t like pumpkin pies love her now-famous recipes. You know it’s a special tradition when clients call in early November wondering whether the agency is celebrating Grandma Elsie, and whether they’re on the list to get new recipes and spices first-hand.”
Grandma Elsie’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
1 envelope gelatin dissolved in 1/4 cup of water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg (packed)
1/8 tsp ginger
2 eggs, separated
2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup whole milk
1 heaping cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 stick butter or margarine
We use ready-made graham cracker pie crusts, but you can also make your own – and it will be even better!
1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 pint real whipping cream (this may be enough for two pies)
1 tbsp powdered sugar
- Separate the eggs from their whites. Store egg whites in the refrigerator.
- Start a double boiler on stovetop.
- Place all of the pie ingredients except the egg whites and gelatin in the double boiler.
- Heat the mixture until it is thick, stirring periodically.
- While the mixture thickens, progressively dissolve the gelatin in hot water and stir vigorously.
- When the pumpkin mixture is thick (hint: check if the spoon stands straight up), stir the gelatin-water into the mixture on the stove, over low heat.
- Let cool.
- Place the mixture in the fridge until firm (we recommend letting it set overnight).
- Beat egg whites until they are light and fluffy.
- Once the mixture has become firm, in a separate bowl, beat pumpkin batter at low speed until it is creamy.
- Then, fold the egg whites into the pumpkin batter until they are well-mixed.
- Pour the mixture into the pie shell and top with whipped cream.
- Sprinkle lightly with graham crackers.