“What’s one of your favorite Thanksgiving food traditions?” a co-worker recently asked me.
“Probably making kabocha pie,” I replied.
I feel like I have to explain this to everyone, but it really is amazing. So far, my best way of explaining it is that it’s like a pumpkin pie, but more flavorful, rich, smooth and creamy. Pumpkin tends to be rather fibrous in texture compared to kabocha squash and a bit more mild in flavor.
I fully admit to being a little obsessed with kabocha squash right now, but honestly I’ve been hooked ever since I first tried it 4 years ago, so I don’t think that it’s just a weird phase. The only downside is that it looks fairly similar to a pumpkin pie. So if you make this for family or friends, you really need to explain to them what they’re eating before they go get themselves a slice of your delicious spiced kabocha pie expecting pumpkin pie and then decide that it’s terrible because it’s not what they expected. I made that mistake the first time. Although no judgement if you just want to make this for yourself and eat it all.
This recipe is also really versatile. You can adjust the spices to whatever flavor you’re looking for and you can sub the dairy free cream cheese and almond milk combo for 1 1/2 cups of coconut cream. I did that the first time I made this and it was delicious. The cream cheese makes it more dense and gives it a little bit of a tang (like a cheesecake), which balances nicely with the sweet squash. But honestly I think both ways are delicious and will just depend on either your preference or what you happen to have around at the time. It’s going to taste good either way, I promise.
Spiced Kabocha Pie
- 1 ½ cups roasted kabocha squash (1 medium, 2 1/4 to 3 lbs – either green or red variety)
- 1 cup cream cheese (I used Kite Hill made from almond milk)
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or other nut milk)
- 1 tbsp arrowroot
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400°. Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half. I like to start near the stem and work my way down and around. Once you have it cut in half, scoop out the seeds and as much of the stringy stuff as you can.
- Rub squash all over with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle some salt on the inside. Place squash face down (skin up) on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until the squash is tender and soft.
- Set it aside to cool, then scoop out 1 1/2 cups of squash and save the rest to eat later. (You can roast it again at 350° for 15 minutes to heat it up for another meal, or use it in my Kabocha Spice Turmeric Latte)
- While it’s cooling, turn the oven down to 375° and blind bake your pie crust for about 20 minutes to get it ready for the filling.
- To make the filling, simply add all the ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and turn it on high, scraping down the sides as needed, until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. I used my vitamix.
- Pour the filling into your pre-baked pie crust. Line your crust with 3-4 strips of foil and bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 30 minutes. The center should still jiggle slightly when it’s finished.
- Set aside to cool for at least 2-3 hours.