This recipe balances 2 types of squash: thick, starchy squash and watery, stringy squash.
Watery squash varieties are interchangeable with pumpkin in this recipe; just as starchy, sweet squash varieties can be used instead of buttercup.
Any squash with stringy flesh will need to be blended. Pie Pumpkins can be stringy, as most pumpkins are. Acorn is a good example of a fine-grained watery squash that doesn't need blending.
An equal ratio of both types makes a pumpkin pie-like consistency with the same or often better texture than canned pumpkin puree.
For a sweeter, fudge-like and dense pie use more of the thick, starchy squash and less of the watery squash in a 2:1 ratio.
|Two types of squash are used in this recipe; On the left are two varieties commonly sold as 'Buttercup' in any grocery store. On the right is Pie Pumpkin: easy to find in fall to mid-winter months.
Two common examples of starchy and intensely sweet squash: (L-R) Buttercup and Kabocha.
Pumpkin: Classic watery, stringy squash.
You will need 1 starchy squash and 1 watery squash at least 2 lbs each to make the filling and glaze.
PUMPKIN SYRUP GLAZE
Juice of baked squash and pumpkin
1 tbsp gelatin
2 slices of ginger
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tbsp diced lemon zest (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1 cup baked Kabocha or Buttercup squash.
1 cup baked pumpkin or acorn squash (drained and blended)
1 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut pumpkin and squash in half, scoop out insides. Soak the seeds and pulp in a strainer in water. Wait a few minutes for the juice to seep out into the water; reserve this juice and water mixture. Squeeze out the pulp and put it back inside the cavity, separated from seeds.
Cover cut side of pumpkin and squash with foil and bake cut-side up at 350°F for 1 hour, or until a fork easily cuts the flesh. Note: Watery squashes can be baked longer until the skin starts to turn black to intensify flavours.
Let pumpkin halves cool enough to handle.
Scoop out the flesh into a cheesecloth and squeeze the juice into a bowl; hang for an hour and squeeze again.
Blend the pumpkin flesh to break up the strings. You can squeeze the juice out after blending but you will need more than one layer of cheesecloth.
Add the juice and the ginger slices to a pan; Simmer on low until juice is reduced to 1/3 of the original volume. You will know when it is done as it will darken to a caramel colour and thicken slightly to a sweet syrup.
Let pumpkin syrup cool and set aside.
Use the pumpkin flesh for the pumpkin pie filling.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Use a pie dish that's at least 9" wide and 1 1/2" deep. We use a square casserole dish 9" by 6" and 2.5" deep.
To make the cheesecake filling: Combine the room-temperature cream cheese and ricotta, beating slowly until the mixture is fairly smooth. It may appear grainy, or a few lumps may remain; that's OK.
Stir in the egg, vanilla, and lemon zest, if you're using it.
Spoon the filling into the pie pan. Chill in the fridge for 10-20 minutes.
To make the pumpkin filling: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the salt, and spices.
Add the pumpkin, cream, and eggs, and whisk gently until smooth. (You don't want to beat a lot of air into this mixture; just be sure it's thoroughly combined.)
Gently spoon the pumpkin filling atop the cheesecake layer. Note: Do this carefully at first, so as to not disturb the cheesecake layer; once you've covered the cheesecake, you can be less careful.
Bake the pie for 15 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, and continue to bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Stick a toothpick in it to check, if it comes out clean, it's done. Optional: Overbake for up to 40 minutes more to get a dry crust-like edge, any longer will brown the top too much.
The pie is done when it looks set. If you have a digital thermometer, the pie will register 165°F at its center when it's done.
Remove the pie from the oven, allow it to cool to room temperature, cover it and refrigerate.
Pumpkin Syrup Glaze Instructions:
Heat pumpkin syrup in a pan. Optional: add cream. You want to make sure you have about 3/4 cup of the syrup cream mixture to cover the top of the pie.
When syrup is gently boiling, add gelatin. Stir to break up lumps. When gelatin is dissolved, strain for any remaining lumps
and cool in a container in the fridge.
When pumpkin syrup topping is not runny but still able to be poured, pour it onto the pie.
Smooth the syrup to evenly cover the surface of pie.
Chill until topping is set.
Yield: 10 to 12 rich servings.
Pumpkin Pie Royale
Thick filling of pumpkin, acorn and buttercup squash, on top of ricotta and sour cream.
Topped with Pumpkin Cream Glaze. 5/5 Taste.
Pumpkin Pie Royale before glazing with Pumpkin Cream Syrup
Pie was cooked for 1 and 1/2 hours. Result was a dense cake texture and delicious.