Kabocha Pumpkin Pie is a Sweet Surprise

11/27/2013 at 11:50 AM ET

Kabocha Squash Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Jason Taylor

If you’re like us, your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal comes at the end.

And that has everything to do with the pies.

From fruity apple and pumpkin pies to rich pecan pie and chocolate pies, the only hard part is choosing which one to sample first. But rest assured, if chef Rory Macdonald’s kabocha pumpkin pie is one of the choices, we’ll dive in fork first.

At Hakkasan New York, Macdonald uses kabocha winter squash, also called Japanese pumpkin, in his holiday recipe. “It has a much sweeter flavor than traditional pumpkins,” he says. “Canned options [are] often already sweetened, and spices have been added which can mask the pumpkin flavor.”

So this year, save your canned pumpkin puree for after-dinner pumpkin spice lattes, and try this new spin on the Thanksgiving classic. Says Macdonald: “[It’s] definitely worth the effort.”

Kabocha Pumpkin Pie
Makes 1 9-inch pie

1 9-inch prepared (store-bought) graham cracker pie crust
4 egg yolks, divided
1 cup brown sugar
2 cans evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
2-3 small/medium size Kabocha squash
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
Coconut flakes, dried cranberries for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Beat two egg yolks in a bowl, and lightly brush over the graham cracker crust. Place the crust in oven for 5 minutes. (This will create a seal between the pie and the crust and stop the crust getting soft.) Remove, and raise the oven temperature to 400F.

3. Cut the squash in half, and remove the seeds. (Save and bake the seeds to use as garnish, optional.) Sprinkle the inside with the brown sugar, and wrap with aluminum foil. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until completely softened.

4. Remove from oven, discard the foil and, when cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh with a spoon, discarding the skin.

5. Puree the squash in a blender until smooth. (If you have a fine mesh sieve, pass the squash through the sieve to create an even creamier finish.)

6. In a large bowl, combine the squash and the remaining ingredients, and pour the mixture into the pie crust.

7. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 225F, and bake for 40–50 minutes until the pie is just set. Remove, and allow to cool.

8. Once cool, slice and top with coconut flakes, dried cranberries, baked kobucha seeds or your favorite toppings.

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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