Pumpkin season has arrived. We did not have this pie during our recent trip to Italy, but the inspiration for it did come from Italy. Paola recently blogged about a pumpkin, gorgonzola, and pear tart. I have combined gorgonzola and pears before as well as gorgonzola and pumpkin, but not yet all three of them together. That really appealed to me, and I thought that it would be nice to make it with a flaky crust and serve it as a cross between a cheese course and a dessert, accompanied with a semi-sweet dessert wine.
There is hardly any added sugar in this recipe; all the sweetness is the natural sweetness of the pears and the pumpkin or butternut squash. I was very happy with the result, as it is not very sweet at all but it is very tasty. The flaky crust and the lattice pattern make it more festive. I could also imagine this as a lunch, served with a green salad and perhaps some off-dry sparkling wine…
For a 27 cm (11″) pie, serves 8
2 pears, about 500 grams (1.1 lbs)
150 grams (5.3 oz) gorgonzola or other blue cheese
600 grams (1.3 lb) pumpkin or butternut squash, diced, net weight after peeling and removing the seeds
2 Tbsp dried breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
salt, to taste
butter for greasing
For the pie crust
300 grams (2 cups) pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
150 grams (11 Tbsp) cold butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
about 6 Tbsp cold water
Preheat the oven to 225C/440F.
Make the extra flaky pie crust dough using this method, but using the proportions given above. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for at least half an hour in the refrigerator.
Butter an oven dish and spread out the diced pumpkin in a single layer.
Roast the pumpkin in the oven at 225C/440F until it is soft and browned, about 30 minutes, stirring after about 15 minutes for more even browning.
Mash the pumpkin and allow to cool. Lower the oven temperature to 180C/350F.
Meanwhile, roll out 2/3 of the dough into a 32 cm (13″) circle. Butter a pie dish (I prefer a glass one for this type of pie) and line it with the dough you just rolled out. Pierce the bottom with a fork all over…
…and sprinkle with an even layer of dried breadcrumbs. This will help to keep to prevent a soggy bottom.
Season the pumpkin puree to taste with a bit of salt (not too much, as the gorgonzola will add plenty of salt). Spread out the pumpkin puree in an even layer on top of the breadcrumbs.
Peel and core the pears, and slice into wedges. Cover the pumpkin puree with a single layer of pear wedges.
Crumble or dice the gorgonzola, and scatter it on top of the pears.
Roll out the remaining dough and cut it into ribbons. Cover the pie with a lattice of those ribbons, then brush them with beaten egg.
Make sure the oven is preheated to 180C/350F.
Bake the pie at 180C/350F until it is nicely browned, about 45 minutes.
Serve at room temperature. The pie will keep for several days in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic.
We enjoyed this with a Condrieu Vendanges Tardives (late harvest) and it was outstanding. Now that is a rare product, but many dessert wines with botrytis that are not too sweet will be great with this.
Tom yum goong is a sour (from lime) and spicy (from chillis) Thai soup with shrimp.