Sweet pumpkin pie was not a favorite of mine as a child. My grandmother used to make it at the beginning of November for a local celebration but I was not a fan. Getting older the tastes and the preferences of a person, most of the times, change, so that is the situation here. I now like it and I like it a lot! Especially warm, just out of the oven! Full of flavors and aromas! A typical and classic autumn sweet!
This is the way my grandmother made kolokythopita (the Greek name for pumpkin pie). The only difference is that she used homemade phyllo. I understand that making your own phyllo is a bit difficult and time consuming, especially for someone who hasn’t done it before, so store-bought phyllo dough is an excellent alternative. I can say that I prefer it, in a way, because is a lighter version and gives a crunchier texture to the pie.
The ingredients for the pie filling are few and simple. Pumpkin, cinnamon, sugar, rice and a little olive oil. Cinnamon is a perfect match to the fresh and fruity flavor of the pumpkin and rice absorbing all the liquid of the pumpkin gives consistency and extra taste.
This pie is a bit different than most pumpkin pies you know but this is the way we make pumpkin pie in Greece. Trying new things is always refreshing and revealing! I hope you like it!!
Sweet Pumpkin Pie – kolokythopita
- 12 sheets of phyllo dough
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- for the filling
- 1 kg butternut squash or pumpkin, grated
- 220 gr short-grain rice
- 200 gr sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Add grated pumpkin and rice in a bowl and mix well.
Place the mixture in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 8 hours.
The next day (or after 8 hours) add sugar, cinnamon, salt and olive oil to the pumpkin-rice mixture and mix until well combined.
Preheat the oven at 180°C.
Grease a 22×35 baking pan with olive oil.
Place the first phyllo covering the bottom and the sides of the baking pan (the ends of the phyllo may hang out of the pan).
Brush the phyllo with olive oil (sides and bottom).
Add another phyllo sheet and brush with olive oil again.
Continue this way until you have 6 phyllo sheets.
Add the pumpkin filling and spread it evenly.
Gently press down the filling with the back side of a spatula.
Fold over the phyllo edges, one by one if is possible, brushing with olive oil.
Cover with 6 phyllo sheets brushing each with olive oil.
Cut off the phyllo that hangs outside the pan and tuck the leftover phyllo inside all around the edges of the pie, using a knife.
With a sharp knife carefully score the top layers of the phyllo into pieces (do not cut all the way through).
Sprinkle a little water over the pie and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes until golden brown.
Turn off the oven and let the pie in the oven for another 30 minutes.