While many chefs and restaurants have their own spin on the classic orange dessert, there are some standards we’ve come to expect — it will be orange, creamy and contain real pumpkin, for starters.
But there's a new pumpkin pie out this season that appears to have none of those qualities ... and the internet is collectively freaking out. At Alinea, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago, you can now consume a pumpkin pie that looks like it's made from clear Jell-O ... or glass.
In September, Simon Davies, Alinea’s chef de cuisine, shared an Instagram video explaining the dessert.
“Pumpkin pie for the fall menu,” he posted with the hashtag #surrealism. The dessert looks almost too pretty to eat but it certainly doesn't resemble a typical pumpkin pie — or any other dessert we've seen ... except maybe last spring's Insta-famous raindrop cake.
In the comments of Davies' Instagram post, the chef goes on to explain that the “pie” is actually “a distillation of pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and clove."
But he assures followers that this mini creation is still supposed to evoke all the warm and fuzzy feelings of the classic fall dessert.
"Texture is very important to us. This melts away. If it were over-gelled it would not be worth serving. The main texture that brings on nostalgia is from the pâte brisée."
For those who haven't spent a lot of time baking fancy pastries, pâte brisée is a variety of shortcrust pastry that uses a ton of butter but is less sweet than traditional crusts.
The chef also explained that his process involves the use of a rotary evaporator machine, which creates a "liquid distillate" of flavor. So while this pie may look like it belongs at a Thanksgiving dinner in 3017, it actually tastes like the same thing you've been eating for years.
But of course the internet is pretty confused as to what exactly is going on here.
Ok, so, minds are blown and a lot of people are confused. But at least Davies has us thinking about food in new ways! The dish certainly begs the question, is a dessert still pumpkin pie if it looks nothing like a traditional orange pie?
The jury is still out on that one.
If you want to stick to a more traditional pumpkin pie this fall, try one of these delicious recipes: