Chef John Folse's Lemon Chiffon Pie with Gingersnap Crust

PREP TIME: 5 Hours
YIELDS: 8 Servings

One taste of this pie with its light billowy filling and it's easy to see how it drew its name from a sheer silky fabric. The sweet spiciness of the gingersnap crust is a perfect counterpoint to this citrusy delight.

Ingredients for crust:
1 1/4 cups finely ground gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 25 cookies ground in processor)
2 tbsps sugar
1 tsp minced crystallized ginger
5 tbsps unsalted butter, melted

Method for crust:
Preheat oven to 350º F. In a large mixing bowl combine cookie crumbs, sugar and minced ginger. Add butter and stir until mixture is evenly moistened. Transfer crumb mixture to a 9-inch glass pie dish, press crumbs firmly and evenly onto bottom and up sides to top of dish. Bake 8-10 minutes or until crust is firm and slightly darker in color.

Ingredients for Filling:
3/4 cup strained fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 tsps finely grated lemon peel
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 1/4 cups chilled whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 cups ice cubes

In a small mixing bowl combine water and gelatin. Set aside and let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes. In a medium bowl add enough cold water to come halfway up sides and add ice cubes and set aside. In a small, heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat mix the sugar, lemon juice, egg yolks, grated peel and salt. Whisk constantly until mixture thickens very slightly (mixture will coat spoon but will not thicken like curd) and thermometer registers 160º F, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin dissolves and mixture is smooth. Place saucepan in bowl with ice water until filling is cool to touch, whisking occasionally, about 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. In another bowl combine whipping cream and sugar. Using electric mixer beat cream until peaks form. Fold 1/4 whipped cream into lemon filling until incorporated. Fold in remaining cream in 3 amounts. Transfer filling to cool crust, mounding slightly in center. Refrigerate pie until set, about 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with lemon peel. This pie can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator.