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An unusually deep flavored sweet pumpkin pie from the large island of the northeastern Aegean. The cheese used in Lesbos is the local ladotyri (cheese aged submerged in olive oil). Parmigiano Reggiano is a good substitute.
For a 13 X 9 X 2 inch rectangular pan, or an equivalent 15 cup round pan.
• 6 cups grated pumpkin (2 pounds), or squash like Calabanza, or 5 cups of any other grated pumpkin and two yams, baked and mashed
• Pinch of salt
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup medium grain rice
• 1/2 cup light olive oil, or a combination of olive and sunflower oil, plus more to brush the phyllo
• 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
• 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• Pinch of nutmeg
• A few grindings of black pepper
• 1 pound thick commercial phyllo
• Confectioner's sugar and ground cinnamon for sprinkling
At least 3 hours and preferably the night before making the pie, sprinkle the grated pumpkin with a little salt and a pinch of sugar, toss and let it wilt in the refrigerator, in a colander placed over a bowl to collect the juices. When ready to make the pie, press well to drain the grated pumpkin, reserving the liquid in the bowl. In a large bowl mix the pumpkin with the rice, olive oil, cheese, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper.