I can't take any credit for this recipe, but I love it and the family recipes contest seems a great way to share it. My great grandmother sent away for a cookbook from Knox Gelatin, probably sometime in the 1940s, and in the years that followed, this pie became a family favorite and a mainstay every Thanksgiving. I'm not sure I've ever had a traditional pumpkin pie. This filling is light, like a mousse - as the description on the original recipe says, "Better than any pumpkin pie you've ever eaten, this one has a heavenly texture and fine flavor". If you aren't too strongly attached to your own pumpkin pie recipe, I recommend giving it a spin.
Use your favorite pie crust; I am including the Betty Crocker version that my mom and I (and my grandmother before us) have always used.
To make a 10" pie, just double the filling - and use a 10" crust, of course. —ReisTanzi
1 9-inch pie
For the Filling
Unflavored gelatin (envelope size isn't stated, but I think it's 7.2 grams)
Firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups
9-inch single crust baked pie shell
Betty Crocker's Pie Crust
Plus 1 Tablespoon shortening or butter (the recipe calls for shortening; I use butter)
Mix gelatin, dark brown sugar, salt and spices thoroughly in a saucepan. Stir in milk, water, egg yolks and pumpkin and mix well.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly (watch for lumps) until gelatin is dissolved and mixture is heated thoroughly, about ten minutes.
Remove from heat and chill, stirring occasionally, until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from spoon.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat in sugar.
Fold chilled gelatin mixture into stiffly beaten egg whites.
Turn into the baked pie shell and chill until firm. Serve with whipped cream.
Betty Crocker's Pie Crust
Preheat oven to 475. Mix flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening using a pastry blender or crisscrossing two knives, until pieces are about the size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 tablespoons more water can be added if necessary). *My note: as with any pastry crust, take care not to overwork the dough.
Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into a flattened round on a lightly floured surface. If desired, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes to firm up the shortening slightly, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky and lets the water absorb evenly throughout the dough. If refrigerated longer, let soften slightly before rolling.
Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface, using floured rolling pin, into a cricle 2 inches larger than upside-down pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths and place in pie plate, or roll pastry loosely around rolling pin and transfer to pie plate. Unfold or unroll pastry, pressing firmly against bottom and side, being careful not to stretch pastry, which will cause it to shrink when baked. Flute or finish your crust as you prefer. (if you're new to making pie crusts, check out this Food52 guide (https://food52.com/blog/10753-everything-you-need-to-know-about-pie-crust).
Prick pastry all over bottom and sides with a fork and line with pie weights if desired (we don't). Bake at 475 for 8-10 minutes or until light brown; cool completely before filling.