Speculaas-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

This isn’t your grandma’s pumpkin pie. A buttery crumb crust made of speculaas cookies and roasted pistachios and a fluffy yet wonderfully rich pumpkin chiffon filling elevate the original, but it’s the Chinese Five-Spice Mix that really sets this Speculaas-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie apart. Sweet and warm thanks to star anise and cinnamon, the blend also packs a punch of fennel, peppercorns, and cloves for a deeper, nuanced flavor. Topped with tangy Sour Cream Whipped Cream, this remake is simply irresistible.

Speculaas-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Makes 1 (9-inch) deep-dish pie
  • 2½ cups (260 grams) finely ground speculaas cookies*
  • ½ cup (57 grams) finely chopped roasted salted pistachios
  • ⅔ cup (134 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 7 tablespoons (98 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 (15-ounce) can (425 grams) pumpkin
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) Chinese Five-Spice Mix (recipe follows)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams), separated and room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (8 grams) cornstarch
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) cold water
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) unflavored gelatin
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Sour Cream Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: finely chopped roasted salted pistachios
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together cookies, pistachios, and 2 tablespoons (24 grams) sugar. Add melted butter, and stir until well combined. Using a measuring cup, press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.
  3. Bake until lightly toasted and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. In a medium saucepan, stir together pumpkin, milk, sour cream, Chinese Five-Spice Mix, vanilla, and salt, and heat over medium heat until steaming. (Do not boil.)
  5. In another medium bowl, whisk together ⅓ cup (67 grams) sugar, egg yolks, and cornstarch. Gradually add hot pumpkin mixture to egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and starting to boil. Cook until cornstarch flavor is cooked out, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. In a small bowl, place ¼ cup (60 grams) cold water; sprinkle gelatin on top. Let stand for 1 minute. Immediately stir bloomed gelatin into pumpkin mixture until gelatin completely dissolves and is well combined.
  7. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Pour pumpkin mixture into a medium metal bowl. Place bowl in prepared ice water bath; let cool just until no longer warm to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Do not let it chill completely.)
  8. In the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together egg whites, cream of tartar, and remaining ⅓ cup (67 grams) sugar by hand. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking frequently, until sugar completely dissolves and an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C).
  9. Carefully return bowl to stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.
  10. Using a balloon whisk, fold egg white mixture into pumpkin mixture in two additions. Pour into prepared crust. (Pie will be full.) Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  11. Before serving, place Sour Cream Whipped Cream in a pastry bag fitted with a ⅝-inch open star piping tip (Ateco #829). Pipe on top of pie as desired. Garnish with pistachios, if desired. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
*We used Biscoff cookies.

Chinese Five-Spice Mix
Makes about ½ cup
  • 2 tablespoons (14 grams) whole fennel seed
  • 5 whole star anise (5 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) whole Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons (12 grams) ground cinnamon
  1. In a small skillet, cook fennel seed, star anise, peppercorns, and cloves over low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a spice grinder, and grind until a fine powder. Sift into a small bowl, and mix in cinnamon. Store in an airtight container.

Sour Cream Whipped Cream
Makes about 2½ cups
  • 1 cup (240 grams) cold heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) cold sour cream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cold cream and sugar at medium speed until soft peaks form. Add sour cream, and beat until medium-stiff peaks form. Use immediately.



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