Photo here!

omg you guys. I promise this is easy. And so very good. I've never been fond of "variant" pumpkin pie recipes because they usually fuck up the whole concept with, I don't know, cottage cheese or some crap. This one, though, is lovely. It's very similar in flavor to standard pumpkin pie, but has a much lighter and creamier texture, almost like a mousse. It's not your usual bright-orange dense-ass triangle. There are no weird ingredients here - the fluffiness is achieved through whipped egg whites. The other difference is the marvelous walnut-streusel topping, which please don't skip.

for the pie:
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (NOT the already-spiced kind. Just pure pumpkin.)
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell, fresh or frozen. Except go on, make your own, it's so much better. Most helpful pie crust instructions ever, and best recipe I've ever tried, can be found here.

for the topping:
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons salted (regular) butter, chilled
1 cup chopped or broken walnuts

(I'd put it in metric but I’d screw it up. Sorry.)

You know your oven, so you'll have to decide when to start preheating it to 425 F.

Separate the eggs.

In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks. You can do this by hand or electric mixer. Mix until it's pretty homogenous, but no need for perfection at this point.

Stir the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Again, mix until it's basically all the same color.

Set this aside. Using an electric mixer and a small bowl, or a whisk and a big strong arm, whip the egg whites to soft-peak stage (if you've never done this before, it's exactly what it sounds like: when the whisk or beaters are lifted from the mixture, soft peaks are left behind. These peaks will be limp and flop over. The mixture will still look kind of wet. If you go past this to the "stiff peak" stage, the pie will still probably work but will not have the exact consistency you are going for.).

Gently fold the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture. I will be frank and say that my folding technique sucks ass. If you very gently (but as quickly as possible) stir the two together using a lifting motion with your spatula in the batter, youll be ok even if you also do not know what you are doing. Mix this just until it is all one color again.

Pour this filling into the pie crust. It should just barely fit.

Bake this at 425 F for 15 minutes.

While it's baking, make the streusel topping: in a small bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut the (cold) butter into chunks, then mix into the dry stuff with a fork or pastry cutter until it has an even texture, more or less, and looks like crumbs. Add in the walnuts, which should be broken or chopped into smallish pieces.

Open the oven and spread this topping over the surface of the pie. Don't get killed. It is going to look like too much topping! It isn’t.

Don't worry about how long you've just stood there with the oven door hanging open, because you're about to reduce the temperature anyway. Turn it down to 350 F. Bake another 40 minutes, or until set.


Mine took longer than 40 minutes to finish cooking. More like 50, 55. The toothpick test works on this pie, though not exactly the same as with cakes. A toothpick inserted near the center of the pie will come out damp but clean, when the pie is done. If it isn't done it will come out covered in pumpkin sludge.

I'm usually a great fan of whipped cream or ice cream on pies, but on this one I think it would be overkill, because of the streusel. If you must, I recommend whipped cream. (make it yourself, champ, it takes 2 ingredients and 5 minutes)

Homemade crust makes a huge difference and will impress everybody. If you're afraid of it, me too, until recently, when I figured it out. The link I mentioned above really does make the whole process very easy - lengthy, sure, but not at all stressful or mysterious. And the crust can be made up to a few days ahead of time & refrigerated.

Oh, and this pie has the added benefit of being made entirely out of ingredients that are shelf-stable or keep very well for several weeks. The eggs are the most perishable ingredient, but even they will keep in the fridge for quite a while. So it's easy enough to have all the stuff on hand for this pie and not have to go to the grocery on a holiday week. YOURE WELCOME

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