Lighten Up Pumpkin Pie Recipe | Bakepedia

Lighten Up Pumpkin Pie

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I love the smooth creaminess and flavor of a pumpkin pie--not to mention it's actually good for you. But I have never enjoyed the traditional denseness, which always seemed to be a contradiction of elements. So I set about to keep the flavors we expect (with a slight twist of my own I couldn't resist!), yet have it cloud-like on the palate. Now my family demands two of these every Thanksgiving no matter where or what!

Lighten Up Pumpkin Pie

Author: Ariane Goodwin
Makes: Two 9-inch pie


  • Pumpkin Pie Mix:
  • 3 cups pumpkin puree (canned or oven-roasted from a real pie-pumpkin)
  • 3 eggs (at room temperature)
  • ½ cup dark maple syrup (the real thing, not a flavored substitutes)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (the real thing, not a flavored substitutes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons dark or light rum
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (you can substitute 1 teaspoon powdered ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt (please do not reduce or eliminate!)
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar (to add to egg whites)
  • Vanilla-Maple Whip Cream:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dark maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon dark rum
  • pinch (literally) of salt


  1. Separate eggs, putting yolks in large mixing bowl and whites in a smaller mixing bowl

  2. Beat the egg yolks until creamy (approx. 1 minute)

  3. Add in order, beating until well combined: maple syrup, heavy cream, vanilla extract, almond extract, rum, all spices, and salt

  4. Add pumpkin puree alternately with whole milk, beating until well combined
  5. In the smaller bowl, with clean beaters, beat egg whites, adding cream of tarter right before your egg whites make a peak when you lift the batters up.
  6. With a large spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the pumpkin pie mix until there are no more large egg white lumps left, but not so long that you deflate the egg white lift.
  7. Pour into 9-inch, pre-baked pie shells.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes; turn the over down and bake at 300 degrees for 30 more minutes
  9. Test center of pie with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, remove pie and cool. If the toothpick has runny or gooey pie stuck to it, keep in the over another 10 minutes and resets with toothpick.
  10. Serve with vanilla-maple whip cream

  11. ===============

  12. Vanilla-Maple Whip Cream
  13. Beat whipping cream until begins to thicken

  14. Add vanilla, maple syrup, rum, and salt as you continue beating until the whipping cream stands up on it's own when you lift the beaters, but not until you turn it into butter!
  15. Scoop a generous spoonful over each piece of pie before serving

Author's Tips

  • Egg Whites:
  • Since the lightness of this pie comes from the egg whites, be careful not to beat them too much. You still want the sense of moisture, not too dry and not too wet!
  • Pie shell:
  • If you are pre-baking, add a layer of tin foil across the bottom of your pie crust, weighted down with 1 cup of dry beans (I let the dry beans cool afterwards and save them in a air-tight container for the next pre-baked pie shell).
  • Bake the pie shell at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool before pouring in pie mix
  • Pie Crust:
  • For this pie, the most delicious crust I've found substitutes ½ cup of flour with ½ almond meal.
  • Whip Cream:
  • I use my own whip cream because I can control the flavors. Since the Whip Cream flavors echo the pie flavors, there's an intensification of taste I can't get with vanilla ice cream.

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