Alinea Clear Pumpkin Pie
[1] Alinea’s clear pumpkin pie (photo Alinea | Chicago).

Semi-Clear Pumpkin Pie
[2] Hannah Kaminsky’s version, recipe below (photo Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog).


Perhaps the most innovative restaurant in the country, Chicago’s Alinea set the internet on fire once again with another avant-garde culinary masterpiece, propelling pumpkin pie it into a viral video hit.

It’s a perfectly clear pumpkin pie, glossy and ethereal, served in a tiny wedge. It looks like clear gelatin, but has the consistency of pumpkin pie—as well as all the flavor.

“Curiosity got the best of me,” says our colleague Hannah Kaminsky. “My copycat rendition would never be able to stand up to original for lack of fancy equipment.

“I don’t happen to have a centrifuge and rotary-evaporator lying around to extract clear, condensed liquid from pumpkin purée, but that doesn’t mean I can’t play with the concept.

“My take is admittedly more translucent than transparent, but nonetheless a whimsical departure from the expected slice of pumpkin pie.”

Plus, while Alinea customers got only a bit of pie, Hannah’s recipe gives you a conventional slice.


Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1 eight-inch graham cracker crust, baked
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons pumpkin spice extract
  • 1 tablespoon agar powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

    1. COMBINE the water, sugar, pumpkin spice extract, agar and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk periodically until the sugar has fully dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil and cook for 2 more minutes.

    2. GENTLY POUR the mixture into the baked crust so as not to kick up lots of loose crumbs. Let the pie cool to room temperature before moving it into the fridge to chill. Once fully set (about 1 to 2 hours), slice and serve.

    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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