I have an extremely rustic and homemade pie for you. This is a Kabocha Pie. You can call it a Pumpkin Pie if you like. Same thing, really (sort of).
I pre-sliced my pie so that my Thanksgiving guests could easily take a piece without the fuss of cutting it themselves. And of course I did a sloppy slicing job and the pie cracked and crumbled a bit. Hence the rustic homemade look. This pie’s got love in it.
I made the crust for this pie at midnight. Midnight dough making. Can someone please get me out of the kitchen? The next day I roasted my Kabocha squash. Sliced in quarters, seeds scooped out, dabbed with oil, onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and into the oven until super soft.
NOTE: Kabocha squash can be very dry when roasted, much more dry than butternut or pumpkin. Just keep that in mind. Actually, I quite like the dryness for a pie filling because my moisture is coming from my eggs and cream.
I had a few pie crust mishaps. When I went to parbake my crust, I neglected to weigh it down enough (I used rice rather than dry beans or pie weights) and the middle of the crust poofed up like crazy. FAIL. Major fail. I then decided to use some heavy ramekins to weigh down the middle and it worked just enough to barely save my poofy crust.
So my advice is to go buy some dry beans and you can keep them forever for all of your parbaked pie crusts. Do it. Don’t be like me.
Ooo, and remember to try not to beat yourself up if you make a mistake in the kitchen. I do it way too often and then I realize that everything can be fixed and that there can be a lot of beauty in the imperfect.
Kabocha Squash Pie
I love the firm yet silky filling of the pie, the dry sweetness of the kabocha, and the slight tang from the sour cream.
recipe from the traveler’s lunchbox
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) pumpkin or winter squash puree (preferably homemade)
1 1/2 cups (375ml) creme fraiche or sour cream (I used sour cream)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (100 g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 9-inch parbaked pie crust (I used the pate brisee recipe from Sherry Yard’s Desserts by the Yard, but you can use whatever crust you like…The Traveler’s Lunchbox has directions on how to parbake (the paragraph above the actual recipe); and you can use this crust recipe if you like, too)
TO PUREE YOUR OWN PUMPKIN/SQUASH:
I preheat the oven to about 375 degrees F. I simply slice my squash in half, scooped the seeds out, and cut each half again in two. I drizzle with some olive or canola oil or butter and a few pinches of salt. I place the cut sides down atop of a parchment lined baking sheet and into the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork/knife. Alternatively you could wrap your prepared squash in aluminum foil and bake.
For this particular pie, you can just let your squash cool, peel the insides away from the outer flesh, and mash roughly with a fork. Note that your squash does not have to be completely smooth because it will get blended with the rest of the ingredients later. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of puree for the recipe and leave the rest to use for pumpkin soup, pumpkin mac n’ cheese, pumpkin quinoa…!
FOR THE FILLING:
Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place everything for the filling except for the sugars and cornstarch into a blender or food processor. In a small bowl, stir together brown and white sugars with the cornstarch until no lumps remain (I stirred with a fork). Add to the pumpkin mixture and blend until smooth and homogeneous.
Pour the filling into your parbaked crust. Place the pie onto your preheated baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until the filling is just set. NOTE: if your crust is starting to brown, you can cover it with a little bit of aluminum foil. Cool the pie and top with whipped cream!
Psst…here are a few snaps of the little pumpkin tartlettes that we made for the staff at work. CUTIES!: