Sunday, February 19, 2012

Better Not Overlook Butternut for Dessert!


For the last post, I showed an experiment in stuffing pasta, with the experience gained that with the making of a savory pasta filling, one should moderate the addition of sugar, especially to a winter squash that already has quite a bit of natural sugar in it.

This post, a part two to butternut puree if you will, is a demonstration of how to take something gone wrong and making something that really takes advantage of the idiosyncrasies of your prepared ingredient. As butternut squash is pretty darn close in texture and flavor to a pumpkin, and overly sweetened one would make for a fantastic pie I surmised.


When you get down to it, this recipe really is just a pumpkin pie, replacing pumpkin with butternut squash. The differences are there, subtle and not at all unpleasant.

I combined the lessons learned from both the pumpkin pie recipes I had tried earlier, the Alton Brown Pumpkin Pie and the Real Estate Lady Pumpkin Pie.  I opted for a home made pie crust that wasn’t overworked this time for starters.  As a change up I replaced the dairy with heavy whipping cream. Primarily because I had a half carton on hand.

No nice mise en place photo this time I’m afraid. I’m not entirely sure what distracted me from setting one up, but rest assured it was very distracting.

The basics though: Heavy whipping cream, butternut puree, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

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Two eggs are beaten with a half cup of brown sugar, reduced due to the extra sugar already in the butternut puree. To this, a half teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice is mixed in.

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16 ounces of butternut puree is then beaten into this mixture.

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Finally 12 ounces of cream is blended in.

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Roll out  your homemade pie crust and lay into a glass/pyrex pie dish.

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Cut off the edges to make it tidy. If you feel like using some of the excess dough to lay around the edges like I did, it won’t turn out badly!

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You can also haphazardly put some into an small oven safe bowl, because you’ll probably have a bit more filling than the pie tin can handle. It worked out well for me.

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Proceed to forget to photograph the filled pie plate and bowl filled with the butternut puree.

Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and then place the pie dish and any other baking vessels on a baking sheet and into the oven.

Bake until a center jiggles slightly but sides are set, about 50 minutes, but you can check at 45. Could take longer.

Turned out quite nicely and poofy. This will sink a bit.

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I couldn’t quite stop myself from taking a bit out of (destroying) the mini pie for quality control purposes before taking this picture. This mini pie thingy only took about a 35 minutes to be ready.

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Butternut pie, after it has been cooled a few hours. It’s good. And what a different a well made pie dough makes in color and texture!

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Serve with whipped cream, be happy.

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Butternut pie:

  • 16 oz. butternut puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of brown sugar depending on how sweet your butternut puree is
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or some combination of cinnamon, powdered ginger, nutmeg and allspice, whatever you have on hand in relatively even proportions)
  • 12 oz of heavy cream
  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Beat brown sugar into eggs, add spices, then blend in butternut puree, and finally the cream.
  3. Lay pie crust into a pie dish, cutting off excess to use however you like.
  4. Fill crust with butternut mixture, careful not to overfill. Use excess however you like.
  5. Place pie dish and any other baking vessels on a baking sheet.
  6. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  7. Bake 45-55 minutes until a the center jiggles slightly but the sides are set.
  8. Allow the pie to cool for two hours at least before cooking. Can be refrigerated and enjoyed in the next few days. Serve with whipped cream!

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