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Fall Recipes: Kabocha Squash Pie From One of L.A.'s Top Bakeries

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Photo courtesy of Short Cake
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Now that it's October, we're fully ready to embrace the fall. (No more angry rants about teh early arrival of pumpkin lattes, promise.) So with that we bring you an awesome recipe for a sweet twist on one of our autumn favorites, pumpkin pie.

Over at Short Cake in the Original Farmers Market, the bakers whip up this fall classic using kabocha squash instead of pumpkin. Kabocha squash are readily available in the late summer and early fall, and are known for their hard, thick skins. Their taste is a cross between a sweet potato and pumpkin, and their smooth, creamy meat makes for an excellent pie filling.

Here's how it's made:

Kabocha Squash Pie

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Ingredients:

15 oz kabocha squash, peeled (about 1 squash)
4 oz unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, split and peeled
2 extra large eggs
1 extra large egg yolk
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp whole milk
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tbsp brandy
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
small pinch white pepper
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
prepared pie crust

Method:

Roast squash a 350 F covered with foil until tender, about 30-45 minutes. Leave the oven on for baking the pie once it's prepared to go in the oven.

In the bowl of a food processor, puree the squash and set aside.

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In a small saucepan over medium heat, begin to melt the butter. Add vanilla bean and continue cooking, swirling occasionally, until the bubbles subside and the butter is dark brown and has a nutty aroma. Remove vanilla bean pod.

Add browned butter to squash puree and combine. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the whole milk, eggs, egg yolk, cream, milk, maple syrup, brown sugar, brandy, ginger, salt, cloves, and white pepper. Add squash to the mixture, whisking to combine.

Pour the mixture into a prepared pie crust in a pyrex dish or pie tin. If using a home made pie crust, be sure to blind bake it to ensure crispness.

In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle the topping over the filling.

Bake for 1-1.5 hours at 350, until the filling is set and the crust is nicely browned. When done, the filling should no longer quiver when you gently shake the baking sheet.

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If you want to do like the bakery does, you can top each with a shortbread cookie circle, or you can just leave it naked like a traditional pumpkin pie.