all natural Thanksgiving pie

I planted red kuri squash in my garden this year, and I wish I could say I grew the one below. Sadly, my plant didn’t do well at all, so I picked this one up at my local natural foods store.

kuri squash

If you’ve never tasted this variety of winter squash, you are in for a real treat. Red kuri squash is very sweet, with a naturally creamy texture. It reminds me a lot of kabocha squash.

red kuri squash

This pie recipe is one I’ve made before with well-drained fresh pumpkin purée. I’ve also used organic canned pumpkin, and you can certainly go that route if you like. You could also try it with butternut or another kind of squash. Keep in mind that if using pumpkin or another type of squash, you will probably want to add more sugar to the pie filling. I used only 1/2 cup of sugar in this recipe because of the intensely sweet flavor kuri squash develops when it’s roasted, but I’ve added 3/4-1 cup of sugar when using pumpkin. In addition to requiring less sugar, another reason I like using kuri squash is that the purée does not need to drain the way homemade pumpkin purée does: it doesn’t contain much moisture which makes it ideal for pie making.

sliced red kuri squash

Kuri squash has a thick skin so you’ll need a heavy-duty knife to cut it in half. Once you do, you’ll scoop out the stringy stuff and the seeds just like you would any pumpkin or winter squash (the seeds are great roasted and seasoned). Then, you can cut each half into smaller pieces, and drizzle them with a little oil (I used olive oil). Turn the pieces flesh side down, cover with foil, and roast in a 375 degree F. oven until they’re very soft (40-45 minutes). If you prefer, you can steam the pieces until soft instead.

cooking red kuri squash

Allow the squash to cool completely, then scoop all the flesh away from the skins and place in a blender with the other filling ingredients. Ps I like to nibble on the skins…they’re pretty tasty and full of fiber ;)

red kuri squash rinds

Note that I opted to spice the pie filling only with cinnamon and ground ginger, but you could also add a bit of ground cloves or nutmeg, if you like.

Now, at the risk of inciting a riot, I’ll let you know that I do not usually bother with making traditional pie/pastry crusts (aka pate brisee). Sorry, but I just don’t love the way they taste. I prefer to make press-in cookie-type crusts (or sometimes I use nuts, dried fruit, and maybe some unsweetened coconut flakes instead for a healthier option). For this pie, I made a shortbread crust with whole wheat pastry flour, and I added some crystallized ginger to give it a little “oomph”.

ginger shortbread crust

If you truly enjoy the other sort of pie crust, feel free to use your favorite recipe…hopefully one that’s not made with shortening as this is filled with hydrogenated oils/trans-fats. It’s better for you to use a combination of butter and lard from grass-fed animals (this combination produces a very flaky crust, too). You could also use a high quality store-bought or homemade graham cracker crust (use gluten-free graham crackers if you need it to be gluten-free).

Kuri Squash Pie with Ginger Shortbread Crust

Yield: 8 servings

This pie is not at all fancy, but if you're looking for a homey, all-natural, not-too-heavy-or-sweet dessert for your Thanksgiving table, this would be a great choice.

Ingredients:

For the pie crust:

*4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
*2 tablespoons organic sugar
*1 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour, or unbleached all-purpose flour
*2 egg yolks
*1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced crystallized ginger (or 1 tablespoon additional sugar)
*1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

For the pie filling:
*about 2 cups of kuri squash purée from a 2-3 pound squash (see above for instructions), or use homemade pumpkin purée or a 15 oz. can of organic pumpkin
*1 cup raw or homogenized but preferably not ultra-pasteurized cream (I used raw cream; coconut milk would work, too, I think)
*2 eggs, preferably organic and free-range
*1/2 cup organic sugar, plus another 1/4-1/2 cup if you're making this recipe with pumpkin (I used the Fair Trade Certified cane sugar from Malawi sold byWholesome Sweeteners) or organic brown sugar
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions:

For the crust:

1. In a medium bowl, stir together butter and sugar. Stir in yolks. Add flour, crystallized ginger, and salt, and stir until mixture just starts to come together (it will still be somewhat dry and crumbly).

2. Press dough into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Freeze for 20 minutes, or until firm, while you preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

3. Cover crust with a round of parchment paper and pie weights (I use about 2 cups of beans, which I store in a glass jar and re-purpose again and again). Bake, rotating halfway through, just until crust turns golden brown, 20-22 minutes. Allow to cool before adding the pie filling.

For the pie:

1. Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pour into prepared pie crust and place in the oven. Cook in preheated 325 degree F. oven until the filling is just about set in the middle (it will continue cooking a bit after you take it out of the oven). This will take about 50-60 minutes; if the pie starts to brown, cover it loosely with foil while it finishes baking.

2. Allow the pie to cool in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight, and serve with homemade whipped cream to which you've added a healthy pinch of both ground ginger and cinnamon (I usually add a little organic powdered sugar to my whipped cream, too). 1 cup of organic cream makes about 2 cups of whipped cream, way more than enough for serving the pie.

3. Store leftovers in the refrigerator; in my experience, pumpkin pie does not freeze well.

Crust adapted from Martha Stewart.

kuri squash pie

More Thanksgiving desserts from my archives:
Pumpkin Clafouti
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Seed Toffee
Pumpkin Soufflés with Maple Pumpkin Ice Cream
Maple Glazed Olive Oil Pumpkin Cake

I’m linking this post to Cheryl’s 3rd Annual Pie Party…Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom sponsored by Cherokee USA, Le Creuset, Wilton, Bags by Bloom and Harvard Common Press.

I’m also “bringing” this pie to Food Network’s Virtual Thanksgiving: “The Communal Table”.
Visit the links below to see what other food bloggers are bringing:

Cocktails, Appetizers, Soups and Salads:
Cookistry: Bread With Ancient Grains

Celebrity Chefs and Their Gardens: The American Hotel Peconic Clam Chowder

Picky Eater Blog: Butternut Squash Soup With Thyme and Parmesan

Good Food Good Friends: Mushroom Soup

Mains:
Examiner.com: Grilled Quail with a Warm Beet, Frisée, and Pistachio Salad

She Wears Many Hats: Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey

Sides:
Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole

The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes

Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry Studded Stuffing

Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat: Blue Cheese and Rosemary Celebration Potatoes

Burnt Lumpia: Turkey, Sweet Potato and Cranberry Empanadas

Panfusine: Pan Fried Polenta Seasoned With Cumin, Ginger & Black Pepper

Homemade Cravings: Warm Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Slaw

Bakeaholic Mama: Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Crispy Prosciutto

Show Food Chef: Beer-Braised Brussels Sprouts

T’s Tasty Bits: Sweet Empanadas with Pumpkin and Lupini Beans Filling

The Amused Bouche Blog: Braised Kale

The Little Kitchen: How to Make the Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Desserts:
The Macaron Queen: Macaron Tower

Poet In The Pantry: Amaretto Apple Crisp

Farm Girl Gourmet: Pumpkin Coconut Panna Cotta

That’s Forking Good: Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Blondies

Out of the Box Food: Out of the Box Food Maple Pumpkin Pie

Cake Baker 35: Orange Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Lisa Michele: Pumpkin, Pecan, Cheesecake Pie

Food For My Family: Buttermilk Custard Pear Pie

Simple Bites: Black-Bottom Maple Pumpkin Pie

A Cooks Nook: Swedish Apple Pie

Yakima Herald: Pretzel Jell-O Salad

How Does She: Three of Our Favorite Desserts

Dollhouse Bake Shoppe: Thanksgiving Candy Bar Name Plates

Sweet Fry: Pumpkin Latte

Tasty Trials: Spiced Apple Panna Cotta With Caramelized Apples and Caramel Sauce

An Uneducated Palate: Puff Pastry Apple Tart

Frugal Front Porch: Mini Cheaty Cheesecakes

 

52 Comments

  1. 1

    Brian — November 15, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    Ahhhhhh… I love all of the wonderful squash you can get this time of year. What a great way of using it!

    • Winnie replied: — November 16th, 2011 @ 10:25 am

      Thanks Brian…I can’t get enough squash either!

  2. 2

    Karen — November 15, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

    I need to get my hands on a kuri squash! I’ve never seen or heard of them and after seeing this, I’m very intrigued. What a beautiful pie…makes me want it to be fall all year when I see recipes like these!

  3. 3

    Nutmeg Nanny — November 15, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    This pie looks amazing! I have never had red kuri squash before but I totally want to give it a try. I have one last CSA pickup on Monday so maybe they will have one in the box :)

  4. 4

    Bev Weidner — November 15, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

    I’ve never even heard of Kuri, but I love the new direction my life has now been given.

    Wow.

  5. 5

    Jessica @ How Sweet — November 15, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    I just love the sound of this pie, and I really love that you used whole wheat pastry flour in the crust! Amazing.

  6. 6

    Deliciously Organic — November 15, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

    What a beautiful pie! I love the addition of the ginger in the crust!

  7. 7

    Shri — November 15, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

    Loved the pictures and the squash…I have one with almost the same shape but a grey….

  8. 8

    pure2raw twins — November 15, 2011 @ 9:51 pm

    love the photos! so beautiful!
    just bought some red kuri from the farmers market the other day :)

  9. 9

    The Wimpy Vegetarian — November 16, 2011 @ 2:10 am

    How funny – we were kind of on the same page today, Winnie. I posted a kabocha – apple squash soup with coconut milk, and I had photos of the kabocha roasted and then just the peels, although I like your photos MUCH better. You’re giving me something to shoot for. And yes the kuri looks a lot like the red kabocha! I’ve never seen it, I’ll definitely keep my eyes peeled for some! It sounds like something I would really like!

  10. 10

    Sophie — November 16, 2011 @ 4:58 am

    What a delightful & appetizing home made pumpkin pie! I love the crust too!
    MMMMMMMMM,….;)

  11. 11

    Ricki — November 16, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    Beautiful! I just had a kabocha yesterday and love how it’s so much less moist than pumpkin, too. I’ve never had kuri, but you can bet I’m going to look for it next time I’m food shopping!

  12. 12

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — November 16, 2011 @ 11:28 am

    What a lovely pie… And, stunning photos of the whole process! Great minds think alike!

  13. 13

    The Elegant Eggplant — November 16, 2011 @ 11:29 am

    This is such a gorgeous pie! The crust sounds especially delicious… yum!!!

  14. 14

    LiztheChef — November 16, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    LOVE the ginger in the crust…Why do I feel woefully inadequate when people post about a squash I have never heard of?

  15. 15

    #pullupachair with Food Network « that's forking good — November 16, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  16. 16

    Braised Kale For The Communal Table | The Amused Bouche — November 16, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  17. 17

    Three Pies in One – Cheese, Pumpkin, Pecan and the Giveaway Winner! « Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives — November 16, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  18. 18

    Virtual Thanksgiving | A Cook's Nook — November 16, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  19. 19

    The Communal Table: #PullUpaChair for A Virtual Thanksgiving « T's Tasty Bits, An Ecuadorian Cuisine Blog — November 16, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  20. 20

    The Food Community Joins The Communal Table | The FN Dish – Food Network Blog — November 16, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes (pictured above) Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple [...]

  21. 21

    The Food Networks Virtual Thanksgiving – bringing together Food Bloggers to share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes. — November 16, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  22. 22

    the little kitchen » How to Make the Perfect Mashed Potatoes — November 16, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  23. 23

    sippitysup — November 16, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

    So many wonderful squash in this world and that one has a particularly beautiful hue. GREG

  24. 24

    JulieD — November 16, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

    Wow, that’s beautiful, Winnie! I wish this wasn’t a virtual potluck!

  25. 25

    The Communal Table, Thanksgiving Dinner | How Does She... — November 16, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  26. 26

    Mrs. Measurement — November 16, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

    Oh My! I looooove your plate. It’s goegeous. You’re recipe sounds delicious as well.

  27. 27

    Eat! Be Mary!, Inc. — November 16, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  28. 28

    Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey | She Wears Many Hats — November 16, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

    [...] Roasted Turkey Sides: Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  29. 29

    Butternut Squash Soup with Thyme and Parmesan | The Picky Eater: A Healthy Food Blog — November 16, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  30. 30

    Food Network Virtual Thanksgiving: Blue Cheese and Rosemary Celebration Potatoes « Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat — November 16, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

    [...] Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  31. 31

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — November 16, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

    I’ve never had this kind of squash before, I’ll have to try and find it. I like the addition of ginger in the crust too. Ginger makes everything better!

  32. 32

    Katherine Martinelli — November 17, 2011 @ 4:22 am

    This pie looks gorgeous! I wish it could make an appearance on my Thanksgiving table :-) And I love the idea of your cookie crust. I will have to try this.

  33. 33

    Desi@ThePalatePeacemaker — November 17, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    I have never tried/even heard of red kuri squash before! I am a huge fan of kabocha though, and by the looks of red kuri, the two are pretty similar! I have a feeling I’m going to love it. Thank you so much for this recipe, Winnie!

  34. 34

    MikeVFMK — November 17, 2011 @ 8:07 am

    What a beautiful looking pie! I’ve never had a squash pie before but I’m tempted now that I see how amazing they look and probably taste. Lovely Winnie.

  35. 35

    Monet — November 17, 2011 @ 9:28 am

    What a wonderful twist on a Thanksgiving classic. Your photographs are just stunning, my friend. Thank you for sharing with me! I hope you are having a great week and I wish you a wonderful weekend!

  36. 36

    France @ Beyond The Peel — November 17, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    WInnie! It’s beautiful. I love Kuri squash, but have yet to make anything with one this year. What a fantastic reminder to do so. You’re so right about the sweetness and texture, perfect for a pie.

  37. 37

    Russell at Chasing Delicious — November 17, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

    I have never heard of a red kuri squash before but I am super intrigued now. This dish looks scrumptious.

  38. 38

    Elizabeth — November 18, 2011 @ 11:47 am

    Your shortbread crust has jarred this tried-and-true pie traditionalist. I may just forsake my buttery standby this year–your pie looks and sounds incredible!

  39. 39

    Kelsey / Happyolks — November 18, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

    Oh Winnie, I really love this spin on pumpkin pie. Kuri squash is delicious. Putting this on my holiday list!

  40. 40

    Asmita — November 20, 2011 @ 10:38 am

    Never tried this squash before but would love to try it after seeing this lovely post. The pie looks beautiful and I LOVE the plate and table setting. Exquisite!

  41. 41

    Laura Leigh Goyer — November 22, 2011 @ 2:35 am

    I had red kuri squash soup at a restaurant once and thought it was delicious. I bet this pie tastes fabulous.

    Thanks very much for the ping back. I’m happy to be sharing the Communal Table with you. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

  42. 42

    The Communal Table « An Uneducated Palate — November 22, 2011 @ 6:29 pm

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  43. 43

    Homemade Cravings – Warm Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Slaw — February 11, 2012 @ 9:27 am

    [...] Turkey Sides: Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan Friendly Corn Casserole  Healthy Green Kitchen Red Kuri Squash Pie  The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes  Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  44. 44

    #PullUpaChair with the Food Network for a Thanksgiving Feast - Good Food Good Friends | Good Food Good Friends — June 19, 2012 @ 7:19 am

    [...] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  45. 45

    Chubeza — July 17, 2012 @ 7:10 am

    [...] Red kury squash pie [...]

  46. 46

    Farmgirl Gourmet Pumpkin Coconut Panna Cotta with Gingered Pecans & Bourbon Glaze - Farmgirl Gourmet — October 16, 2012 @ 5:15 am

    [...] Roasted Turkey Sides:Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn CasseroleHealthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash PieThe Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling PotatoesGluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  47. 47

    Pie, (Food) Porn, and Puppies! | VegEdibles — November 21, 2012 @ 2:37 am

    [...] Kabocha Pie (adapted from the Red Kuri Squash Pie recipe in Healthy Green Kitchen) [...]

  48. 48

    Butternut Squash Soup with Thyme and Parmesan | move-foods — June 8, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

    [...] Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn CasseroleHealthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash PieThe Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling PotatoesGluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry [...]

  49. 49

    Red Kuri Squash Pie | Space Girl Organics Blog - Local Florida Food, Fun, and People, organically of course! — November 22, 2013 @ 11:21 am

    […] Here is a blog post and recipe for Red Kuri Squash Pie from the blog The Healthy Green Kitchen. […]

  50. 50

    Giving Thanks: A Collective Memory | Eat! Be Mary!, Inc. — March 23, 2014 @ 10:52 am

    […] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry […]

  51. 51

    The Communal Table | The Culinary Travel Guide — March 25, 2014 @ 8:12 pm

    […] Living Mostly Meatless: Vegan-Friendly Corn Casserole Healthy Green Kitchen: Red Kuri Squash Pie The Naptime Chef: Crispy Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes Gluten-Free Blondie: Apple and Cranberry […]

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