I added kabocha squash to fresh pumpkin and sweetened this pie with maple syrup. A bit of the Punjabi spice blend garam masala adds an exotic highlight to this Thanksgiving favorite.
I make the pie on Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day. I like to roast and puree the pumpkin and Kabocha squash on Tuesday night so it will be all ready on Wednesday.
Prepare a pie crust ahead of time and freeze it
I use a Sugar Pie pumpkin. Just the name gets me singing Sugar Pie Honey! These are available at farmer’s markets and produce markets such as Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market in Berkeley. They are slightly smaller than a basketball. They have more flesh and are less fibrous than a Halloween jack-o-lantern pumpkin. You will need about 1 3/4 pounds per pie.
I add kabocha squash, which is sweeter than the pumpkin. Its texture and flavor resemble chestnuts.
You can do this part ahead of time. Pierce pumpkin and kabocha several times and place on oiled roasting pan. Roast at 450◦ for 45 minutes until soft. Place it on a large plate and cut off the stem. Use a knife to coax the peel off; it should easily come off.
Let the pumpkin and kabocha cool enough to handle. Discard the seeds and stringy pulp.
Put the flesh of the pumpkin in the food processor. Process until smooth.
Since the puree is too watery for pie, pour it into a fine sieve over a bowl. Place a bowl on top of the puree and several heavy cans on top of the bowl. Let it drain for an hour.
Measure 1 1/4 cups of drained puree. Reserve the liquid to add to squash soup such as Kabocha Squash Coconut Soup or butternut squash soup. You can put extra puree in those soups or save it for Fresh Pumpkin Spice Muffins.
Puree about 1/2 cup of the kabocha squash and measure the pureed squash to be sure you have 1/2 cup. You can put extra Kabocha in Kabocha Squash Coconut Soup .
Blind bake foil or parchment covered pie crust with pie weights or beans for 15 minutes at 425◦ While crust is baking, prepare filling
Ingredients: Have all ingredients at room temperature. (You can warm the eggs in a bowl of warm water.)
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree, drained and 1/2 cup kabocha puree. (You can substitute a 15-oz can of pumpkin for both squashes, but it won’t be as good.)
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 ½ cups (one 12-oz can) evaporated milk,
1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp salt
1 egg to brush on crust
Put pumpkin-kabocha puree in large bowl under a mixer.
Add rest of ingredients and beat well.
Remove crust from oven, remove pie weights and foil or parchment, and brush the bottom and lower part of the sides of the crust with a beaten egg. This will prevent the crust from getting too soggy. Place the crust back in the oven for 5 minutes until sides are light brown.
Remove crust from the oven and lower oven temperature to 375◦
As soon as oven is ready, pour pumpkin pie filling into the crust. Place a circular crust protector over it so it won’t burn. Bake for 40 minutes until the center just quivers when you wiggle the pan.
Cool thoroughly on a rack and then refrigerate until Thanksgiving dinner is over and everyone is ready for dessert..
Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream sweetened with pure maple syrup.