New England Dessert
A dressed-up version of an old Thanksgiving favorite. It's light and elegant with a graham cracker crust.
In a saucepan, mix first 6 ingredients. Over a low heat, gradually stir in milk and pumpkin; then add egg yolks one at a time, stirring constantly (be careful not to over cook eggs). Continue stirring 10 minutes, over low heat, to dissolve gelatin. Chill in refrigerator till mixture thickens to the consistency of mayonnaise.
Beat egg whites till stiff (able to hold soft peaks), beat in sugar bit at a time, till smooth. Carefully, fold egg whites into pumpkin mixture and turn into piecrust. Chill 2 hours till firm. Serve accompanied by whipped cream.
Crust: pulse crackers in food processor or crush in a bag with a mallet. Don't over-do: you want crumbs not powder. Mix crumbs with butter and press into bottom and sides of 9” pie pan.
Tips & Glossary
Bouquet Garni: (boo-kay gar-nee), a bundle of herbs tied together with string or wrapped in cheese cloth square. Usual herbs include parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, and peppercorns. They release their flavor during long cooking. Used to flavor soups and stews and removed before serving.
Ginger: dried ground ginger is far more potent than freshly grated from the root. Sweet dessert recipes call for ground powder. If you wish to use freshly grated ginger, use 6 times the amount of ground called for in the recipe.
Nutmeg: Use small whole nuts and store them, tightly covered, in a dry dark area. Grate what you need using the smallest grating edge or grind in a food processor. What a difference from store bought nutmeg!
Piecrust: Store-bought versions are heaven-sent for those who have neither the time nor the know-how for good homemade piecrust. But for those willing to make their own, the payoff is great. See our recipe for Noel's Pie Crust.
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