On the first Surreal Sunday of November we brunch on slices of crystal clear pumpkin pie. Simon Davies, Chef de Cuisine at Chicago’s Alinea restaurant, worked his culinary magic to create completely transparent pumpkin pie filling for the traditional autumn pie.

Actually it wasn’t magic at all which made the pie filling clear, but the science of molecular gastronomy. Davies used a rotary evaporator machine to create a liquid distillate of the traditional pumpkin flavor.

“We by no means are trying to re-create a classic. It’s just our way of having some fun (clearly our ideas of what is fun differ). These are the ingredients: pumpkins from and organic farm 20 miles outside of Chicago, cinnamon, clove, ginger powder, those ingredients are distilled (Wikipedia is a great source to read about what distillation is if you need to), AP flour, butter, water, heavy cream, Tahitian vanilla, sugar and salt.”

A post shared by Simon Davies (@simon.a.davies) on

Photos by/via @ahemberger, Grant Achatz, Ashlan Strait, and @rodrigobravo77 respectively.

[via My Modern Met and Laughing Squid]

@copperbadge I feel like this is in your wheelhouse

I really wanna try making it, though I don’t have the kind of knowledge or equipment to distill the flavors. I’m surprised gelatin isn’t on the list, given it looks like distilled flavor gelatinized, but again, my science knowledge is not quite up to theirs. 

I think you could probably do a passable imitation using flavor oils and clear gelatin or agar agar.