Julia Child's "Fluffy" Pumpkin Pie Recipe Packs a Punch

A fluffy pumpkin pie? That's a new one.

Fluffy isn't a word often used to describe a classic pumpkin pie. Spicy? Sure. Dense? Probably. But fluffy? Well, that's a new one.

So how does Julia Child's Aunt Helen's Fluffy Pumpkin Pie recipe manage to associate itself with such a lofty adjective? What is her trick? And, more importantly, does it taste good?

Child's pumpkin pie recipe was first published in Parade in November 1982, back when she was writing a recipe column for the magazine. But the supposed fluffiness of the dessert isn't the only thing that stands out. Her addition of molasses, extra spices, and bourbon are certainly a spicy twist on the Thanksgiving classic.

But back to the fluffiness. Child's trick for a less-dense pumpkin pie is actually a basic meringue, which gives it a lighter, airier texture. It's sort of like a pumpkin chiffon pie without the gelatin.

To make the meringue, Child says to whip egg whites in a bowl with a bit of sugar and salt until stiff peaks form. Then, stir a quarter of the whipped whites into the pumpkin filling and gently fold in the rest. Ladle filling into the pie shells to just below the rim of the pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

Bon appétit, y'all!

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