I’m more of a savory than a sweets kind of person (well, except for dark, dark chocolate). But, it is Thanksgiving, which is not complete without a pumpkin pie, in this case, a kabocha squash pie.
This is a fairly traditional pumpkin pie, albeit with a few twists. I made a ginger snap crust, instead of the traditional butter or graham cracker variety. I also upped the amount of spices, and replaced the white sugar with a combination of brown sugar, blackstrap molasses, and pure maple syrup (Vermont, Grade B).
Kabocha Squash Pie with Ginger Snap Crust
For the ginger snap crust:
10 tablespoons of butter
2 1/2 cups ginger snaps crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Grease a pie plate (I used a 10 1/2-inch plate) with a thin film of butter. In a food processor, process the ginger snap cookies until they form cookie crumbs. Alternatively, if you do not have a food processor, place the ginger snap cookies in a zip-lock bag, and break into cookie crumbs using a rolling pin. Place the cookie crumbs in a medium-sized bowl, along with the sugar and nutmeg. Melt the remaining butter in a small sauce pan. Add the melted butter to the ginger snap crumbs and mix well. Spread the crumbs evenly on the bottom and sides of the pie plate, using your fingers to firmly press down the crumbs to form a tightly packed crust.
For the kabocha squash filling:
1 (2-pound) kabocha squash
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
First you will need to steam the squash. Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. Fill a large pot, with a steaming rack, with about 8 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Place the squash in the rack, and steam until soft, about 30 minutes. Let cool. Puree the squash until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients. Add the pie filling to the crust and smooth to form an even layer.
Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F, and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes.