November 16, 2015

kabocha squash pie

I have a special November slash falltime slash Thanksgiving slash cozy weather treat for you today. It's been AGES since I posted a recipe, it seems like. It's been AGES since I've created a real, proper blog post! It's also been.....months since I created a post with photos that came from something besides my cameraphone. So let's all revel and enjoy my industry, because it might be another 6 months before it happens again. Grab some tea and let's talk about PIE.

This pie was a series of firsts for me. My first squash pie. My first time roasting an entire squash. I've never made a pumpkin-pie-from-scratch before in my life. And I'm not sure I've ever eaten more than one bite of a squash pie that was not pumpkin. And up until fairly recently, I'd NEVER heard of kabocha squash. I'm still not sure what it is. But I bought one, and cooked it, and scraped all the squash out and everything and I had a Very Big Proud of myself. I felt so very much like all Laura Ingalls Wilder-y.

(oh and if you're intimidated about roasting an entire squash, don't be. it was easy and fun. i did have help from my husband in the cutting, but really it was simple, and my 3 lb squash did yield nearly exactly the 2 and a half cups called for after it was baked.)

The recipe came from a cookbook I checked out from the library, and I've really been enjoying this one - 'Canal House Cooks Everyday'. This pie was in the November section (the book is organized into recipes by month), and so this is the right time to be making this pie, although you wouldn't be going awry if you made it in September or October or January.

So let's talk about this pie.

It was......MYSTERIOUS. And tricky. Did you know that a pie could be these things? I didn't. It was also surprising. Basically it was a tricky minx of a pie. It was all pretty easy and straightforward to put together and the texture came out great, and la la la, I was so happy I made my first squash pie, and we ate some of it not long after it came out of the oven. And it was......interesting. Me, and Andrew, and Andrew's brother, and Julia, and her friend - we all sat around and tried the pie right out of the oven. The reason for all the.....'interesting', was that the recipe contains a great deal of a spice called mace, which comes from the outer casing of a nutmeg. And um, that mace was pretty powerful right out of the starting gate. It was a lovely pie, with such a nice texture, but wow, that mace.

It kinda reached up and slapped you across the face.

Andrew loved it though, because he said it didn't taste like your average pumpkin pie. And Julia's friend ate two slices in a row. I liked it a lot but I was a little baffled by ALL THAT MACE. I didn't know quite what I thought, but it was just a little too....not what I was used to (Trader Joe's pumpkin pie thanks very much).

So into the refrigerator it went. I was a little bummed that my first squash pie was kinda weird.

And then I pulled it out the next day, after it had sat in the fridge for nearly 24 hours and cut myself a slice. WHAT A REVELATION. It was.....MAGICAL. All that mace.....had MELLOWED into this intriguing, subtle, mysterious and sophisticated flavor. Can a pie be all of those things? YES IT CAN, and this was. The mace had blended in nicely with the ginger and the cinnamon, and I really couldn't stop eating it.

You know how cookbooks are always yammering on about cooking stews and things and letting them sit for the flavors to meld together? This is what needed to happen here. Make this pie, and make it a day before you want it. And make some whipped cream, or coconut whipped cream, because that really puts it over the top. This pie was so cool! If you want something this holiday season that kind of tastes like a dessert from some delightful artisanal bakery, this is what you need to try. And because I have run out of word space and #lazy, I'm going to direct your attention HERE for the recipe, already written out. Try it! And let me know what you think!


  1. I love kabocha but mace is new to me. Looks wonderful!

    1. my husband was particularly excited about it because he's a fan of the 'lesser known' spices like coriander, allspice, and mace. It tastes basically like an intense version of nutmeg!

  2. So cool! I am hosting Thanksgiving this year and I want to go traditional with most of my recipes, but I was thinking one new recipe might be fun - maybe this is the route I need to take. I roasted my first pumpkin this year and that went well, so I feel that I could manage that part for sure.

    1. Oh fun!!! Make sure you have some type of whipped cream product - it offsets the spice very nicely!

  3. This sounds awesome! I noticed the kabochas at the store the other day, in fact, so I think I must make this. Oh, and congrats on roasting a squash! I do this frequently, you know. And pumpkin, too! It's so worth it, and your house will smell like heaven.