I present for you what is merely one woman's controversial opinion: Thanksgiving is the worst holiday. It has no good songs, no good mascots, and its autumnal color palette feels really dour as part of a tablescape.
But Thanksgiving does have one redeeming quality: pumpkin pie. As one of the only desserts that appears on a truly annual basis, pumpkin pie always manages to maintain its nostalgic allure. Every family has its own unique recipe — candied walnuts! ginger zest! store-bought from Wegman’s! — but no matter your take, you really can’t go wrong.
UNTIL NOW. Pumpkin pie has just gone wrong — super-wrong — and we will not stand for it.
Executive chef Mike Bagale and chef de cuisine Simon Davies (of three-star Michelin restaurant Alinea in Chicago) have created a brand-new pumpkin pie that looks nothing like your mom’s pumpkin pie because, well, it looks like nothing at all. It’s transparent. It’s invisible. It’s clear as glass. It sort of looks like Jell-O in a crust, except not really, because even Jell-O has color. Also, it’s about the size of a thimble.
So why transparent pumpkin pie? Bagale laid it all out for Vogue: “We put the pumpkin pie stock under a vacuum, and that stock boils at room temperature. Because it’s boiling, it’s evaporating, and that evaporation hits the rotary evaporator’s chilled coils and drips into a collection flask. We take that collection flask and we season it with a little bit of salt and sugar, and then set it with gelatin. So, it’s basically pure aroma. You get a condensation water that blows off the stock, and once you season it, you have something that’s really, really special.”
While we would not want to make this sacrilegious “Thanksgiving dessert” ourselves, it turns out we can’t anyway — ‘cause your average rotary evaporator costs about $2,000 and looks like a piece of science equipment that we couldn’t figure out in 11th grade. And frankly, if we wanted to “eat” an “aroma,” we’d snack on the waxy dregs of a Pumpkin Pie Yankee Candle.
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