Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spiced Kabocha Pie with a Frangelico-Scented Crust for Nonna

Today is my mom's birthday. Happy birthday, Nonna! So, last night I asked the boys if we should bake her a cake. They both shook their heads. Pie, they decided. Okay. Pumpkin pie. Okay. And you have to roast some pumpkins while we do our homework. Oh, okay.

The boys delivered her pie this morning on their way to school.

I didn't have any pumpkins, but I had two kabocha squash from our High Ground Organics CSA. So, while they boys finished up homework, I made some kabocha puree. I've always called it a Japanese pumpkin. Close enough.

Ingredients for one 11" pie
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C finely ground blanched almonds or almond flour
  • 1 C butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • dash of ground cinnamon
  • 3 to 4 T ice water
  • 3 to 4 T Frangelico
  • 4 C kabocha puree (make a puree like this: click here)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 C organic heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • spices to taste (D used some ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and ground cardamom. When I asked him how much, he answered "10 pinches")

I don't have a food processor, so I use a pastry blender and do it all by hand. Place the flour, ground almonds, ground cinnamon, and cold butter in a large bowl. Use the pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter.

Alternate ice water and Frangelico 1 T at a time, until mixture just begins to clump together. If you squeeze some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and cut again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough. Once the dough comes together into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

Roll out the Pâte Brisée between two pieces of parchment paper and place the crust in your baking dish. Place the crust in the freezer while the oven heats and you make the filling. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

To make the filling whisk together the puree, cream, sugar, eggs, and spices together until well combined. Spoon the filling into the crust and bake till the filling is set. Mine took about an hour. Let cool before serving.

They did joke - yes, it's funny to see their senses of humor develop - that I should cover it in whipped cream and, then, top it with pumpkin madeleines and marzipan pumpkins. "Wait...you are joking, right?!?" Yes, Mom, we're joking. Phew.


  1. squash is squash is squash....except for spaghetti squash, summer squash and zucchini LOL