Alinea set the internet on fire once again with another avant-garde culinary masterpiece, drawing on the pumpkin spice craze to further propel it into a viral hit. Perfectly clear pumpkin pie, glossy and ethereal, gently quavered in the brief Instagram video, a tiny wedge being turned over and examined by a disembodied hand. Mesmerizing, confounding, the attraction is instant and irresistible.

#surrealism, indeed.

I tried to look away, to ignore the hype, but curiosity got the best of me, as it always does. A homemade rendition would never be able to stand up to the original for lack of fancy equipment, unless you happen to have a centrifuge and rotary-evaporator lying around to extract clear, condensed liquid from pumpkin puree, but that doesn’t mean we can’t play with the concept. Drawing inspiration from this wild idea and combining it with the pumpkin spice trend that ignores the actual gourd, my take is admittedly more translucent than transparent, but nonetheless a whimsical departure from the ordinary orange slice.

Yield: Makes 8 Servings

Translucent Pumpkin Spice Pie

Translucent Pumpkin Spice Pie

Clear pumpkin pie, glossy and ethereal, is a wild departure from tradition. Sweetly spiced but without any pumpkin puree, it's a mesmerizing and whimsical change of pace.

Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 (8-Inch) Graham Cracker Crust, Baked
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Agar Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt


  1. Combine the water, sugar, pumpkin spice extract, agar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk periodically until the sugar has fully dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil and cook for 2 more minutes.
  2. Gently pour the mixture into your prepared crust so as not to kick up lots of loose crumbs. Let the pie cool to room temperature before moving it into the fridge to chill.
  3. Once fully set (about 1 to 2 hours), slice and serve!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 25gProtein: 0g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

9 thoughts on “Clear-Cut

    1. Ditto! What Abbeycoseattle said! I can’t wrap my mind around it completely but I can’t look away either LOL

    2. I am with you. This has no pumpkin in it. Calling it pumpkin pie when there is no pumpkin in it seems off putting. Call it anything else, just not pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is a spiced pumpkin custard in a pie shell. This is a stabilizer with essence of spice in it.

  1. I admire your sense of humor and recipe skills! I think I’m going to be serving a more traditional, less intriguing version of sweet potato pie!

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