kabocha pie with flaky chestnut crust
Try to make your desserts the day before Thanksgiving (use Thanksgiving day to cook/finish the things that have to be done that day…gravy, the turkey). In fact, to spread out your workload,
the pie crust and the filling can be made separately at least two days before Thanksgiving and stored in the refrigerator.
Combine the crust and filling and bake the pie the day before Thanksgiving.
makes 1 pie crust large enough for a 12” tart pan
what you need:
½ ounce chestnut flour, sifted
11 ounces unbleached all-purpose King Arthur flour, sifted
⅛ ounce (1 teaspoon) kosher salt
½ ounce (1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
7 ounces (3½ tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 ounces (1-2 large) eggs, mixed
1-2 tablespoons ice cold water
1 egg, mixed
1 tablespoon water
20 ounces roasted and pureed kabocha (reduced to 18 ounces)
½ cup light brown sugar packed
2 eggs + 1 yolk (approx 4 ounces), combined
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
pinch of kosher salt
1 ½ cup heavy cream
- Combine Dry Ingredients. Combine salt, sugar, and sifted flours in a bowl (or food processor).
- Add Eggs. Make a well and pour the mixed eggs in the well and combine with the flour. (If using a food processor, pulse to combine).
- Cut in Butter. Remove cubed butter from refrigerator. Using a pastry cutter, incorporate the butter into the flour by “breaking the butter cubes up with the pastry cutter. If using a food processor, pulse a few times after adding each butter cube. Whether using a pastry cutter or food processor, the combination should resemble crushed peas. The key to a flaky crust is COLD butter.
- Add Cold Water. With the dough in a mixing bowl, drizzle in enough cold water until the dough just comes together. Squeeze gently to form a large ball.
- Knead. Gently knead dough 2-3 times to eliminate cracks. Wrap in plastic wrap and pat into a large disc about 3/4-1/2 inch thick (assuming you are making a round pie).
- Rest. Put in the refrigerator and let dough rest for at least 30 minutes. This will keep the butter cold. (The dough will keep in the refrigerator for a few days or the the freezer for about one month if you want to plan ahead).
- Roll And Pan.On a lightly floured surface (or between two pieces of parchment paper) roll out dough into crust about ⅛” thick. Roll the dough over the rolling pin and use the pin to gently place the dough in a pie pan (or tart pan). Use the pin to cut the edges of the dough if using a tart pan. If using a pie pan, use scissors to trim the dough (about ½” beyond the pie plate rim). Use your fingers to tuck the dough under and inward and shape the dough edge in an attractive way. If there are cracks in the dough, dip your finger tips in water and use the water to moisten the dough to repair the seam.
- Dock. Use a fork to place holes in the crust (this will eliminate air pockets that create bubbles in your crust). Return the crust to the refrigerator to harden the butter.
- Par-bake And Blind Bake. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You will bake the crust until about ⅔rd done before you fill it. Place a sheet of aluminum foil in the crust and place pie weights or dried beans on top of the foil. Bake for about 10 minutes (until the crust is set). Remove the aluminum foil and beans. Continue to bake until it no longer looks wet but it not yet golden. If you want, you can do this in advance, simply wrap it and store it in the refrigerator.
- Roast Squash. Cut the squash in half. Remove seeds and discard seeds. Place squash face down on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.Roast in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast until very soft and the edges are browned. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Peel. Once cool enough to touch, peel the squash skin from the squash. Discard peels.
- Purée And Weigh. Use an immersion blender or a food processor to pureé the squash until smooth.
- Strain. Press purée through a mesh colander to eliminate any chunks or impurities.
- Weigh. Weigh the strained purée. If you have more than 18 ounces, you need to reduce it.
- Sauté (remove). Place the purée in a sauté pan and sauté to cook off some of the moisture from the squash (you want 18 ounces if you have too much moisture in your squash, your pie custard will be runny so do not eliminate this step). Remove from stove and let cool.
- Make Custard. In a bowl or the bowl of a stand alone mixer fit with a paddle attachment, add the cooled squash purée, sugar, eggs, cream, and spice. Mix until well-combined. You can store in an air-tight container for 2 days in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature before baking.
- Fill. Pour the custard filling into the partially baked pie/tart shell. make sure it is even. Use a pastry brush to brush egg wash on the the exposed pie crust.
- Bake. Place the pie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the pie crust is golden and the custard is set (you can tell it is done when it does not look flat, but rounded and puffed up at the edges and if wiggled, the custard will not move.
- Cool. Remove from the oven and let cool.