Every Thanksgiving my whole family gets together, including my sister, Kendal, who lives on Nantucket. Since she and her husband (and now their baby daughter) go to his family for Christmas, Thanksgiving is a big deal. Kendal and I are the two dominate cooks in a family full of cooks. So after deciding that we didn’t want to fight over the food holiday, we split it in half, she gets dinner, I get dessert. Since this is my designated domain, one which I covet, I tend to go all out.
In an attempt to bring a little Japanese flavor to my menu, I decided to try out this kabocha squash pie, to replace the usual pumpkin. This was partially to give me a chance to write about pie for my blog, because I love to make pie.
I cooked up a whole kabocha, via steam, and will be freezing the rest for my Wednesday pie frenzy. For the pie itself, I used my standard pumpkin recipe, with two changes. Obviously the first one was replacing the pumpkin with kabocha. The other was taking out the cinnamon, not a popular flavor in Japan, and replacing it with nutmeg, which goes great with the squash’s flavor.
The pie tasted fantastic and looked beautiful. I think it will be a regular at Thanksgiving from now on. Without further ado, the recipe!
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 stick of cold butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups cooked kabocha squash, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 15 oz can evaporated milk
1 egg white
Put flour and salt in bowl, add butter cut into cubes. Using fingers, combine flour and butter until you have a dry, crumbly mixture with pea sized balls sticking together. Add in enough cold water to stick everything together, careful not to add too much. Do not over work. Gather together into one ball, stick in refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl, whisking until well mixed.
Put dough out onto floured surface and roll out until very thin. Place in 9 inch pie dish, trim and crimp as desired. I did a flower trim, but you can do what ever you want.
Pour filling into pie shell. If you have a little too much, pour into ramekin and bake. Brush the crust edge with egg whites and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes, then check crust and cover with pie ring or tin foil if it’s getting too dark. Reduce heat to 350 and cook for another 20-30 minutes, or until set. That means it doesn’t jiggle when you wiggle. Take out, set on a wire wrack and let it cool for at least two hours before serving.
I decorated my pie with dollops of meringue and pie crust flowers, then browned them in the oven at 425 degrees for four minutes. That is completely optional, and would probably taste pretty good with whipped cream or ice cream instead.
Until next time, plan your menus well!