steeped in the rich food culture of his hometown, Jeanne St. Jean of Pietisserie, San Francisco, is known for relying on some great food trends. Kabocha, or Japanese squash, should be your new pumpkin this season, as it tends to be denser and sweeter than its more familiar cousin. Along with the recipe, she shares this note: “A 2-pound kabocha should yield about 1 pound (2 cups) of puree. But if you’re baking over the holidays, it’s best to make a larger homemade batch and add any extras.” Worth freezing.
Roasted Kabocha Pie in a Chocolate Crust
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 oz butter (1 stick)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2-pound kabocha squash (my latest favorite stand-in for pumpkin pie. Unlike pumpkin, it’s not watery after pureeing)
- 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted (1/2 stick)
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- pinch of salt
- Ginger root, passed over a zester for many flavors
Fry the squash. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the kabocha in half and remove the seeds and fibrous pieces. Place each half on the prepared pan, cut side down. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces the meat. Remove from oven to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
When squash cools, form crust. In a food processor, combine egg yolks, butter, sugar, salt and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture resembles scrambled eggs. Sift together all purpose flour and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Add half the flour-cocoa mixture to the food processor; pulse several times. Add remaining flour mixture and pulse until dough is smooth and homogeneous. Take out the dough in a bowl and knead a little and make balls. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
Make the filling. When squash is cool, remove pulp and puree in a blender or food processor. In a large bowl, combine kabocha puree, sweetened condensed milk, melted butter, and eggs. In small bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture, along with grated ginger. Mix until smooth.
Assemble and bake the pie. Roll out the dough; Fit it into a pie or tart pan. Crimp or trim the edges. Put in the filling Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until filling is firm on edges but not completely covered in center. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.