Butternut Squash Pie
This traditional autumn dessert, from my newest book Celebrating Home, is the perfect way to celebrate autumn's arrival. It features a lighter texture and slightly more delicate flavor than pumpkin pie, and while the flavor develops a bit more the second day, you may have trouble keeping it around long enough for that to happen! For ease of preparation, the squash may be roasted the day before making the pie.
1 butternut squash, rinsed, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 to 6 tablespoons ice water
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup heavy cream, whipped, for garnish
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place it on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Roast the squash 40 to 50 minutes, or until it is soft when pierced with a sharp knife. Cool, scoop out the pulp with a large spoon, and purée the pulp in a food processor or blender until it is smooth, about 1 1/4 cups.
For the pastry, place flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until it is pea-size. Add ice water and process at low speed until the pastry is crumbly. If the mixture appears dry, add the remaining ice water and process just until the pastry comes together and forms a ball. Remove the pastry, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill at least 30 minutes or until it is cold.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the pureed squash, remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Add eggs and whisk until they are well blended. Slowly whisk in the evaporated milk.
On a floured pastry cloth or counter, roll out the pastry. Fold it in half and transfer it to a pie plate. Unfold the pastry, fit it into the pie plate, trim the pastry so it overhangs the edge by 1 inch, and flute the edge. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake 40 to 45 minutes more, or until the filling is set and a sharp knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.
Remove the pie from the oven and set it aside to cool. In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream with confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form. Serve the pie with a dollop of Chantilly cream.
Yield: 10 servings