The love of cooking didn’t just start with The Cub in our family. We have a long history of creative chefs who whip up delicious recipes with such ease. Grandma DiDi, being one of them, dug up some old family recipes a few years back and found these Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs her Great Aunt Adele used to make. Older family members were delighted to have them back on the Thanksgiving Day menu and newer members enjoyed them just the same. These are delicious, and come in a handy single serving size!
Speaking of amazing cooks, Grandma DiDi recently joined the San Diego Cookbook Club. A once-a-month cooking club where members bring a dish from a cookbook they are reviewing. She delighted the members with two dishes; a Moroccan Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup as well as a Leek and Potato Galette. After all members silently voted, Grandma DiDi won first place for her soup! Way to go! Click on the link above to get the recipes for the holidays!
Back to the Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs… The cub helped us by placing liners in each cupcake form. She had a choice between polka dots and stripes and she picked stripes!
Next up, she helped measure the spices to add to the pumpkin mix, which was already on a double boiler over the stove.
The cub watched as Grandma DiDi added all the ingredients to the pumpkin mixture.
Separating eggs is a fun sensory activity for toddlers. The cub really wanted to pour the egg yolks into the bowl after Grandma DiDi separated the whites.
For a toddler, the best part of an egg is the shell. She kept herself busy breaking apart the shells while Grandma DiDi prepped the rest.
If you can’t find graham cracker crumbs in the store, make your own! We placed whole graham crackers in a plastic bag and used a rolling-pin to smash them. BIG fun for a toddler!
After the crust mixture was mixed, the cub helped Grandma DiDi press the crust into each liner. Lots of finger-licking fun!
Now that the pumpkin mixture had cooled, Grandma DiDi whipped up the 8 egg whites she had set aside. In they go with the pumpkin mixture.
Then gently folded into each other until well mixed.
Last but not least, the pumpkin mixture goes into the forms and they are ready to bake. The oven should be nice and hot by now!
And there you have it! The most delicious, single-serve, melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin chiffon dessert to add to your holiday menu. It’s not Thanksgiving without these in our family.
Pumpkin Chiffon Puffs
Please know that there are several approximations in this recipe. The original recipe found was not complete and it had to be made several times to get things right.
- 7 cups (approx) graham cracker crumbs
- 1 to 2 cubes butter – start with less and add what you need
- 1 large can pumpkin puree
- 1 can evaporated milk and enough regular milk to equal 2 1/2 cups milk total
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 8 large eggs separated
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup (or more…) brandy
- Whipped cream
makes approx. 30 puffs
Set oven to 350 degrees.
- In a double boiler add pumpkin, all milk, 1 1/2 cups sugar (reserving the rest for the crust), spices, brandy and molasses and blend well. As it begins to heat add flour and whisk in along with the 8 egg yolks (after separating egg yolks, reserve the egg whites for later). Cook stirring occasionally until it thickens. About 10 – 15 minutes. At this point you can taste to add more brandy if desired. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- As the pumpkin mixture cools, make the graham cracker crust. If you can’t find graham cracker crumbs (very rare these days), make your own crumbs in processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling-pin.
- Melt 1 cube of butter and add to crumbs with 1/2 cup sugar. Mix well. Add more butter if needed. It should be at a consistency that will stick together when compressed but not greasy.
- Line the cupcake tins with paper liners and carefully pack the crust mix into each cup. Get it as far up the sides as you can, but truthfully, they don’t always go up all the way and that’s okay – more room for the pumpkin.
- With the pumpkin mixture almost cooled, whip the egg whites until firm then fold them gently into the pumpkin mixture.
- Fill the cupcake tins to the top and bake 12 – 15 minutes at 350 degrees. They will puff up like a soufflé immediately after cooking and then will drop after a while, but still taste yummy!
- Top with a dollop of whipped cream
*They can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.