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.

Grandma Elsie’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (PRNewsfoto/David Grossman)

“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

Pie Crust:

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

Whipped Cream:

1/2 pint real whipping cream (this may be enough for two pies)

1 tbsp powdered sugar

Part 1

  • 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).

Part 2

  • 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.