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Crystal Clear Pumpkin Pie

The experimental kitchen at Chicago restaurant Alinea has produced a transparent pie that tastes just like traditional pumpkin pie. Created by executive chef Mike Bagale and chef de cuisine Simon Davies, it's not the kind of thing you can just whip up at home, unless you have a rotary evaporator, or a moonshine still that's not being used.  

To make their translucent pumpkin pie, Bagale creates a heavily spiced traditional pumpkin pie filling, blends it with water, and then pours that liquid into a rotary evaporator, a device that distills liquids. He explains his process:

"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."

That distilled pie filling is added to gelatin to make the clear pie filling. Get the complete recipe at Vogue. But be warned, after all that work, your traditional family might prefer to look at it rather than eat it. -via Mental Floss

(Image credit: Allen Hemberger/Alinea)

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