At its best, raspberry chiffon pie is light, billowy, and creamy—a beautifully hued no-bake dessert.
Element of Distress
The pink pies are pretty, but they taste more like sweet foam than raspberries. That’s because the filling doesn’t contain much fruit—it’s mostly whipped egg whites and/or heavy cream, sugar, and gelatin (which allows the filling to set, without baking, in the refrigerator).
Line of Attack
By squeezing as much concentrated raspberry flavor into the mix (and borrowing a page from the fruit jam book), we could maximize the fruit-forward impact of the pie.
To add more raspberry flavor, we just needed to add more raspberries—sounds easy, right? Well, depends on your definition of easy. We couldn’t add indefinite amounts of raspberry puree, since the cream filling could only “hold” so much fruit puree before it would collapse and refuse to set.
In order for the filling to hold as much raspberry puree (read: fruit flavor) as possible, we’d need to make the chiffon less of a pushover—literally—and give it more structural integrity. So how did we change the filling from wimpy to weighty? A little cream cheese thickened the whipped cream and added more richness, and we subbed in raspberry-flavored gelatin (versus plain) for color and taste.
However, the raspberry je ne sais quoi was still missing in the pie. Where was the berry boost we craved? Finally, we found the answer in a mixture of cooked-down frozen berries, pectin, and sugar. This jammy, intensely fruity spread was set into a thin, dark red layer of pure raspberry flavor on the bottom of the pie. How d’you like them raspberries now?
After layering all the components in a pre-baked pie shell and letting it chill out in the fridge for a few hours, we thus fashioned a perfectly set, sliceable pie with great color and intense raspberry flavor, flourished with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Et voilà, raspberry chiffon pie—emphasis on the raspberry.