I can see clearly now the traditional pumpkin pie filling is gone. Okay, it doesn't have the same tune as Johnny Nash's hit song, but the answer is clear: this translucent pumpkin pie from Chicago-based restaurant Alinea is crushing all traditional pumpkin pie recipes. A clear pumpkin pie flavored-gel is nestled in a pâte brisée pie dough and topped with a dollop of whipped heavy cream is the biggest trend coming out of this three-star Michelin restaurant.
And the thing is, people say it tastes just like a slice of Pumpkin Pie. While Chef Simon Davies won't give away all of his secrets (just like a magician) he states that the filling is made by distilling the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon and ginger powder in a rotary evaporator. Chef Davies has been known to use their rotary evaporator for other dishes such as extracting herb aromas from basil.
This see-through gelatinous pumpkin pie first came to light in September when chef de cuisine Simon Davies posted a short video of him holding a tiny slice of clear pumpkin pie. While the photo got quite a lot of views, it wasn't until Alinea founder, Grant Achatz shared a pic to his social media that the pie turned an internet craze.
While the pie is unusual and different, its plays along with the surrealism of Michelin restaurant, Alinea. Their ever-changing tasting menu features favorites like holiday stuffing presented in a playful-way that resinates back to Achatz's childhood memories.
If you have the chance, make your way to Chicago and make a reservation (if you can!) to try this pie before the season is over.