My great revelation this year was that all winter squash is basically interchangeable. Sure, if you eat them all alone, you can discern the differences between a butternut and a kaboucha. But by the time you’ve mixed in sausage and cream to serve over penne, or sauteed onion and apple to serve in soup, only the most trained palates are going to be able to tell which squash you started with. Once I figured this out, I started using my many many kabouchas in desserts, quick breads, and just about everything in between. At this point, I can hide pureed squash in pretty much anything.
Instead of the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, I decided to grab a page from the 1970’s playlist and make a squash cheesecake. In this case, I used kaboucha, though as I suggested above, you could easily make this from pumpkin, butternut, or acorn. It looked like heaven in the oven, then fell precipitously upon cooling. Fortunately, it tastes much better than it looks, especially with fresh whipped cream.
Kaboucha Bourbon Cheesecake
4 Tbs butter, melted
1 Tb brown sugar
1 tube graham crackers, crushed
3 bricks cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups mashed kaboucha
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 Tb cornstarch
1 Tb cream
2 Tb bourbon
crushed pecans for topping
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all crust ingredients, and pat into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix cream cheese and eggs until well mixed. Add kaboucha and mix. Blend in remaining ingredients until smooth.
Pour filling into the crust, and top with crushed pecans.
Bake for 55 – 65 minutes until the center is set. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.