Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am going to be baking a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving but me as well as several family members are currently losing weight together... I'm already replacing the sugar with stevia to dramatically drop the calorie count. BUT, the recipe calls for 4 eggs and I was wondering if I could further reduce the calories by using only egg whites instead... would this ruin the flavor of the pie? I've replaced whole eggs before when baking brownies and they came out fine, but I just want to make sure it won't severely mess up the Thanksgiving classic :)

share|improve this question
2  
I'm just curious, how are you handling the pie crust? Replacing the sugar in the filling and eliminating the yolks is all fine and good, but gram for gram, traditional pie crust is about as fattening as prepared food gets. –  Jolenealaska Nov 22 '13 at 8:46
    
Using sugar substitute and egg whites is not going to make for as good a pie, there's no way around that. Given how many calories is in the stuff just from the pumpkin and pastry you may as well go for broke and make it taste good, otherwise what's the point? Just have a slightly smaller portion. –  GdD Nov 22 '13 at 10:23
1  
You'll probably get something that tastes better if you were to, say, roast a pie pumpkin (either halved, or in cubes) with the traditional pumpkin pie spices. Maybe a little maple sugar dusted on top. Trying to remove all the calories from a pumpkin pie is going to leave you with something completely unsatisfying. Good recipes include sugar, plenty of cream, & eggs, all full of lots of calories. –  derobert Nov 22 '13 at 17:40

3 Answers 3

Pumpkin pie is basically a custard, removing the yolks could change the texture of the pie. Yolks contribute both proteins and fats to the pie which are important for the structure of the filling as well as its creaminess/smoothness. In general, two whites can be used to replace one whole egg. Avoid whipping or over-mixing the filling to prevent making the custard rubbery.Be sure not to overcook the pie, without the yolks there to emulsify the filling and lubricate the protein bundles, you could end up with a dry, curdled mess.

share|improve this answer
    
I would go even farther and say that the higher the yolks to whites ratio, the better the pie will be. A pie with yolks only will be silky and rich, while a pie with whites only will be rubbery and dry. –  rumtscho Nov 22 '13 at 14:57

Yes, you can, but it will reduce the tenderness of the custard. It will be slightly stiffer and slightly less... erm... creamy or pudding like.

Egg whites are essentially water and protein (albumen) and set up to a more resilient and slightly rubbery texture than do egg yolks which contain significant amounts of fat and natural lecithin, which is an emulsifier.

This is why the tenderest, smoothest custards are made with only yolks, and no whites. Using whole eggs is a compromise between the two textures.

Of course, the pumpkin pie filling also has significant amounts of starch, pectin, and general pumpkin solids, so you may not notice the difference (especially if you won't be comparing two pies side by side made with different parts of the egg).

share|improve this answer

•1 large egg = 2 large egg whites •1 large egg = 1/4 cup egg substitute •1 large egg white = 2 tablespoons egg substitute.

Considering replacing some not all the eggs in your recipe unless using an egg substitute. Remember egg whites are a drying and leavening agent.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.