Friday, December 23, 2011

Butternut Squash Pie

Did you know you can make a "pumpkin pie" from butternut squash? In my opinion, butternut squash pie is even better than pumpkin pie because butternut squash is sweeter and creamier than pumpkin.

With a little bit of prep, which you can do in advance, you can make a delicious squash pie filling that you can pour into your favorite pie crust, homemade or store bought.

There are two ways to prepare the squash for a pie filling: bake it or boil it. To bake the squash, cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place it cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet in a 350 degree oven until soft, 45-75 minutes depending on the side of the squash. When it's cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp and mash it, or puree it in a blender or food processor, or put it through a food mill or chinois, or use an immersion blender to turn it into a smooth puree.

To boil it: peel it and cut it into 1-inch chunks. Place the chunks in a saucepan with about 2 inches of water in the bottom. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain well and proceed as above to turn the chunks into a smooth puree. You can do this step in advance and keep the puree in your fridge for up to 3 days before making your pie.

Here's the pie recipe for a 9-inch diameter, 1-1/2 inch deep pie dish:

1-1/2 C pureed butternut squash
1 C evaporated milk
2 eggs
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
2 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1 pie crust (see recipe below if you don't have your own)

1. Mix the squash puree and the evaporated milk together until smooth and combined.

2. Beat the eggs and mix into the squash mixture until combined.

3. Mix in the sugar, spices, and salt and mix until well combined.

4. Pour into an unbaked pie shell and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then turn down the heat to 350 degrees and bake until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes longer.

5. Allow pie to cool completely or refrigerate before serving.

Easy Pie Crust for a 9" Pie:
Cut 7 T of cold butter into cubes. Place 1-1/3 C flour and 1/2 t salt in a large bowl or in a food processor. Add the cold, cubed butter. Process or cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or 2 forks until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Process, or cut in, enough ice water until the mixture just comes together. Quickly form the crust into a flat disk and refrigerate for 10 minutes (or longer). Then roll out the crust on a pastry cloth and fit it into the pie dish.

Today's bounty included:

From Underwood Family Farms: lettuce, orange carrots, mizuna, Japanese turnips, purple kale, cilantro, French radishes, tatsoi, butternut squash, avocado, and arugula.

From Weiser Family Farms: German Butterball potatoes.

And from Rancho Santa Cecilia: Satsuma mandarins.

Happy Holidays Everyone!


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