If you’ve ever bought canned pumpkin, it often has butternut squash in it. Apparently the FDA loosely defines pumpkin! Butternut squash is a plenty this time of year, and will be in our Winter CSA Share boxes. Why not just make the whole thing with butternut? This recipe is easy and is sure to please any pumpkin pie lovers. It’s lightly spiced with grated nutmeg, cinnamon, and local ginger from Good Life Farm. Have you tried this fresh and spicy ginger?! It’s one of my new fall favorites. Buy a bag from them and keep it in your freezer – easy to grate raw or fozen. I’ve used it in everything from stir-fries to baked goods and pear butter. Orders from Good Life Farm can be picked up at many of our pick-up sites!
Up until this year I always used pre-ground nutmeg. I recently discovered whole nutmeg – easy to grate with microplaner. Check out the bulk spice department of your natural grocery store and try using it this way. It’s much more fragrant and has a completely different texture. To prep the squash for baking, just cut it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and bake. Scoop out the skins and process until smooth in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Let it cool before combining with the rest of the filling ingredients.
Make the crust while the squash is baking or even the night before. I’m including directions for an all butter crust (my favorite), but if you have a tried and true favorite crust by all means use it! You can also use a pre-made crust if you prefer. I use a food processor to blend the crust together, then refrigerate. If you time this recipe right, you’ll make the crust while the squash is roasting, chill the dough while you puree the squash and prep the filling, then bake. It’s a bit of a process, but it’s worth it. If making for a holiday, make the pie the night before so the day of you can focus on the meal.
Chill the dough, mash the squash, and measure out the remaining filling ingredients. The dough will need to be chilled once rolled out, so I rolled out the dough, pressed it into a pan, and popped it in the freezer while I blended the filling. The dough was perfectly chilled when I poured in the filling and placed it in the oven. Bake until the filling is set, and serve with a big dollop of fresh whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. (Full disclosure: we didn’t have a pie plate in the farm kitchen! I was able to press the dough carefully into a cake pan, but your pie will be deeper and the crust will fit better in an actual pie pan).
Butternut Squash Pie
1 1/2 cups butternut squash pureé (see instructions)
single unbaked and chilled pie crust (recipe below)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Prepare the squash. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place flesh side down on a baking sheet. Prick the squash all over with a fork. Bake for about 40 minutes until completely soft. When cool enough to handle, scoop squash from the skin and pureé in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Let cool.
Roll out the dough. Generously flour a clean work surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough into a large circle (about 12″). Fold in quarters, and gently lay into a greased pie pan. Unfold the dough, and press into the pan. Trim excess dough, and use your fingers to crimp the edges. Chill completely in the refrigerator or freezer.
Mix the filling. In a stand mixer or with electric beaters, whip together the squash and brown sugar. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour into chilled dough.
Bake the pie, at 350° for 45 – 50 minutes until filling is set. Check after 35 minutes and if necessary loosely set a ring of foil or a pie crust protector over the crust so it won’t get too dark. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
All Butter Single Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, chilled
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 – 10 tablespoons ice water
Place the sugar, salt, and flour in a food processor. Mix the dry ingredients together. Cut the butter into small chunks, and transfer to the food processor. Pulse until mixture is coarse and the butter is the size of peas. Add the ice water, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to pulse the mixture until it holds together when pinched. Dump the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to scoop it into a ball, try not to handle too much as the butter will melt. Mix any dry parts into the wet parts, adding water if necessary. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour and 2 if possible.