There are two types of people in this world. There are those who refuse to make anything on Thanksgiving but the dishes they were served as a child — the Stove Top stuffing crew, if you will — and there are those who use the holiday as a chance to experiment (those are the people who do crazy stuff like serve goose instead of turkey). And just in time for the holidays, there’s a new type of pumpkin pie that will be a total abomination in the eyes of the former group, but a welcome newcomer to the latter. We’re talkin’ clear pumpkin pie.
The miniature dessert is being served at famed restaurant Alinea in Chicago, which is known for pushing the boundaries of food during their epic, hourslong tasting menu meals.
The clear pumpkin pie is apparently made with pumpkin distillate, a concentrated essence of pumpkin that’s usually made by collecting the steam that’s released when reducing mashed pumpkin. You wind up with a product that has a strong pumpkin flavor but colorless appearance. The distillate is then “barely” gelled, with many of the commenters on the video guessing the chef used agar agar, which is made from seaweed and sets more lightly than gelatin.
The rest is pretty simple — it looks like there’s a traditional crust and a drop of whipped cream on top.
While most of us don’t have hundreds of dollars to drop on dinner at Alinea, it’s inspiring to see what everyone else gets up to on Thanksgiving. You could probably recreate a similar dessert using juiced pumpkin and gelatin to create something that would be a welcome lighter option on the table than a traditional custard-based pie. And when you go easy with dessert, that means you can have as many extra helpings of stuffing as you’d like, right?