During our visit to Maskers Orchards in upstate New York a couple of weeks ago, along with the apples we got to pick ourselves we picked up some small pumpkins from the farm’s market … and paid just $3 for 4 pumpkins weighing about 3 to 4 pounds each.
After decorating the dining room with these orange beauties for Halloween, I decided to start using them in the kitchen. I’ve used two pumpkins so far and made a pumpkin and coconut milk soup, freezer-friendly pumpkin puree that will prove quite useful in the near future and this Greek Kολοκυθόπιτα or Pumpkin Pie that you have got to try.
This pita or pie may be somewhat sweet but it’s not necessarily dessert. My husband’s aunt, who lives in Agrinio, makes this throughout the summer as large orange- and yellow-fleshed squash and pumpkins begin showing up across the fruit/vegetable market stalls early in August. We eat it as breakfast, as a snack or as a light lunch along with a refreshing salad. It is simple and flavorful and something you will definitely want to try.
So go on … bring something new to your Thanksgiving table next week with this classic Greek Pumpkin Pie or Kολοκυθόπιτα: It’s all the flavors of the season and the holiday and a Greek take on your classic American pumpkin pie.
Greek Pumpkin Pie / Pita (Kολοκυθόπιτα)
A small pumpkin, about 3.5 lbs.
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup milk or cream
1/2 cup short grain rice
8 sheets of thick phyllo, I used Apollo brand #7
Olive oil for brushing phyllo
12-inch round baking tin
Clean and peel the pumpkin. Cut it into large chunks, then pulse the pumpkin in a food processor until finely chopped. Pour the pumpkin into a large bowl. Add the cinnamon, salt, sugar, olive oil, milk or cream and rice and stir well to combine. Set the bowl aside for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil the baking tin then begin layering 5 sheets of phyllo, brushing each sheet with oil before topping with the next. Spread the filling over the phyllo then begin topping with the remaining 3 sheets. Brush the top sheet with oil and bake in the center of the oven until the phyllo is golden, about 1 hour.