17 Nov 2009 12:50 am
3 medium delicata squash & 2 medium sweet dumpling squash (approx 3 lbs total)
½ cup cream
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp lemon juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
1 Tbl sugar
¼ tsp almond extract
¼ tsp salt
1 4-oz bar semi sweet chocolate
½ cup whole hazlenuts
¼ cup cream
1 nine-inch pastry shell
Preheat oven to 350°. Place hazelnuts in a single layer in a small casserole or baking sheet. Scrub squash thoroughly to remove any dirt. With a long knife, slice delicata squash lengthwise and slice sweet dumpling squash through the stem and blossom ends. With a sharp-edged spoon scrape out all strings and seeds. Be sure to scrape away all stringy pulp until only the flesh of the squash remains. Lightly salt the inside cavity of each squash half, and rub each inside and outside with olive oil. Place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place hazelnuts and squash into a 350° oven and bake until nuts are toasted and squash are soft and easily pierced through with a fork, approximately 15 minutes for the nuts and 30 – 35 minutes for the squash (be sure to fork-test the thickest parts of the squash, near the stem ends). Place squash cut side up on a cooling rack.
When cool enough to handle, scoop squash pulp out of shells and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until most chunks are gone. With blade running, pour in cream in a thin stream until the squash is smooth, pausing as necessary to scrape the sides of the processor bowl. Add orange zest, lemon juice, sugar, almond extract, salt and eggs. Process a few more seconds until well blended. Finely chop nuts and set aside.
Melt chocolate in a double-boiler, stirring until smooth. Add cream in a thin stream, stirring or whisking constantly, until the chocolate reaches a spreadable consistency (you might not use all of the cream). Add the chopped nuts and stir until well combined. Remove from heat and allow chocolate mixture to cool slightly.
Raise oven to 425°. Spread the chocolate mixture into the bottom of the pie shell. Pour in squash mixture until it reaches the top of the shell. Brush edges of pastry shell with cream. Place in 425° oven. Bake until crust is browned and center of filling no longer jiggles when the edges of the pie pan are tapped (cover edges with strips of foil if the are browned before center is finished). Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.