Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
1/3 cup melted butter
1-1/4 cup gingersnaps, finely crushed
OR Baked Pastry Shell
1/2 cup sugar
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup milk
2 egg yolks
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Whipped cream (optional)
Chopped toasted pecans (optional)
Prepare Gingersnap Crust or Baked Pastry Shell; set aside.
Gingersnap Crust: Combine 1/3 cup melted butter and 1-1/4 cups finely crushed gingersnaps (20 to 22 cookies) in a medium mixing bowl; toss to mix well. Spread evenly into a 9-inch pie plate. Press onto bottom and up sides to form a firm, even crust. Chill about 1 hour or until firm. (Or, bake in a 375 degree F oven for 4 to 5 minutes or until edge is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack before filling.) Makes 1 (9-inch) pie crust.
If using a Baked Pastry Shell: Prepare Pastry for Single-Crust Pie. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim pastry to 1/2-inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edge as desired. Generously prick bottom and sides of pastry in pie plate with a fork. Prick all around where bottom and sides meet. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 5 to 6 minutes more or until golden. Cool on a wire rack
For filling: In a heavy medium saucepan, stir together the 1/2 cup sugar, gelatin, cinnamon, allspice, salt, ginger, and nutmeg; stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until gelatin dissolves.
In a medium mixing bowl, slightly beat egg yolks with a rotary beater or fork. Gradually stir about half of the hot milk mixture into yolks. Pour yolk mixture into hot filling in pan. Stir in pumpkin. Bring to a gentle boil; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Cover and chill until the pumpkin mixture mounds when spooned, stirring occasionally (1 to 1-1/2 hours).
In a chilled medium mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Beat with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into pumpkin mixture. Cover and chill again until mixture mounds when spooned (about 30 minutes).
Transfer the filling to prepared crust of choice and chill about 4 hours or until set. If desired, garnish with additional whipped cream and top with pecans.
Make-Ahead Tip: Pie can be assembled and chilled overnight before serving.