Clear pumpkin pie exists and you really need to see it to believe it
Pumpkin pie is really the culinary highlight of the autumn season.
It’s thick, sweet, smooth – all the things a pie should be. And it’s got a limited availability, which instantly adds a degree of exclusivity to it.
But the point about pumpkin pie is that it’s very distinctive. Few puddings are as beta-carotene orange. Few are so solid when you cut through them.
So imagine the confusion when one Chicago restaurant unveiled a see-through pumpkin pie offering.
Alinea, a three-Michelin-starred eatery, has just revealed that they’re now doing tiny slices of clear pie which look nothing like actual pumpkiny pumpkin pie.
The pie isn’t made out of jelly – the filling is actually made with a machine called ‘rotovap’, which creates a clear liquid which is flavoured with whatever food you put into it.
Head chef Simon Davies actually posted a teaser on Instagram back in September, calling it a ‘pumpkin pie distillation’ and yesterday shared the recipe with Vogue:
How to make clear pumpkin pie, according to Vogue
Alinea’s Distillation of Pumpkin Pie (makes 12 14” pies)
by Mike Bagale and Simon Davies
Pâte Brisée Tart Crust
315g all-purpose flour
227g cold butter, diced
58g cold water, cold
Add 140g of flour and the salt to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add butter, a little at a time, on low speed. Once all butter has been added, increase mixer speed to medium and blend until just incorporated. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Turn the mixer back on to medium speed and slowly add the remaining 175g of flour. Once the flour is fully incorporated, add the water and mix until just incorporated and a dough forms. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
Remove the dough from the mixer and cover it in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least on hour.
Preheat over to 176’C. Prepare 12 4-inch round mini tart moulds Remove the dough from the fridge. Using two pieces of parchment paper, roll the dough out until it’s just over a centimetre in thickness.
Using a knife, cut dough into circles about 1-inch in diameter larger than the tart moulds. Press dough into tart moulds. Cook pie crusts for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.
Pumpkin Pie Distillation
1600g cooked pumpkin
10g ginger powder
6g ground cinnamon
4g ground clove
400g sweetened condensed milk
10 gelatin sheets
Distill a base of cooked pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, clove and condensed milk in a rotary evaporator. Then, reserve 1000g of the distillate and add the sugar and salt. Season to taste. Bloom the gelatin into the base while it’s cold. Transfer mixture to metal mixing bowl and gently heat over a pot of hot water to melt the gelatin. The mixture should not become hot.
Pour gelatin mixture into tart shells and refrigerate until set.
To serve, remove mini pies from fridge and let them sit at room temperature to temper for 10 minutes to soften the gelatin. Cut each pie into six pieces and top each segment with whipped cream.
300g heavy cream
60g confectioners sugar
2.5g vanilla extract
Add all ingredients to a stand mixer and whip on high until medium to stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.
But it wasn’t until National Pumpkin Day (26 October) that the internet sat up and started to pay attention to the sacrilege going on here.
But you know, many folk aren’t happy about a pumpkin pie that doesn’t look like it contains any pumpkin
It’s not an opportunity to make art
Although of course, there are some who welcome a culinary challenge
And we’re with them
Because this not only probably tastes like heaven but also looks like it was made to be photographed
Which, in 2017, is all anyone goes to restaurants to do