Sunday, November 15, 2009

Butternut Squash Pie


One of my best friends is turning 18 today. I love her to death, and I wanted to make her something special, something unusual. Since it is fall, despite what Charleston's weather is saying, thoughts of pumpkin and spices have been floating around in my brain for quite some time now. More than one of the cooking magazines that came out this month have made the suggestion of substituting squash for pumpkin in typical fall desserts. Room for Dessert was ahead of the game, having made the switch much earlier.

So hopefully Charlotte will embrace being an autumn baby and fall (no pun intended) in love with this pie. Happy 18th!

To make this pie, I had to make a pie dough by hand. I cut two sticks of cold butter into one-inch cubes and dropped them into a bowl where I had already combined flour, sugar, and salt. I beat the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter was in pea-sized chunks. Next, I added eight tablespoons of ice water, continuing to beat only until the mixture began to come together.

I divided the dough in half and formed each section into a ball. I wrapped each in plastic and flattened them into discs that were one inch thick. I set one disc in the refrigerator and one in the freezer, setting it aside for another time when the desire to bake a pie strikes me. I allowed the dough to chill for thirty minutes, which gave me time to put pictures of Charlotte's birthday party onto my computer.

I removed the dough from the refrigerator and rolled it into a circle that was about fourteen inches in diameter. I folded the circle of dough in half, arranged it in the center, and pressed it into the pie plate. I sliced off the excess dough, which I then cut into little leaf shapes to decorate the edge of the pie.
I lined the dough with aluminum foil and put pie weights into the plate. I slid the crust into the oven and baked it in the oven at 375 degrees for twenty minutes, at which time I took the pie weights and the aluminum foil out of the crust and baked it for ten minutes longer.

I was bad. I took a shortcut. Instead of baking my own butternut squash, scooping out the flesh, and pureeing it, I bought canned puree. I know, I know. I really should have made my own, but everything that I have ever read about pumpkin puree said that there is no benefit to making your own, so I assumed this would also apply to butternut squash.


Sadly, my leaves were mostly covered by the filling. It is definitely not a professional-looking pie, but it is definitely delicious. Baking is one of the best ways to share love, and that is exactly what this pie says: I love you.

Butternut Squash Pie
Makes one 10-inch pie
Adapted from Room for Dessert

2 cups butternut squash puree
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Cognac
One 10-inch prebaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 375. Mix together cream, milk, eggs, sugar, spices, salt, vanilla, and Cognac. Add squash puree and blend in a food processor. Pour filling into prebaked pie shell and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.


  1. Absolutely amazing!

  2. Definitely looked professional..and tasted it too! Yum. But, question, what on earth are pie weights? Also, i completely approve of the grand marnier and canned squash, if that makes a difference. I always use grand marnier and i definitely agree that canned pumpkin is just as good

  3. oh and i love the picture! of our friends, and the the pie too

  4. This pie was amazing! I also am wondering what pie weights might look like. I loved the pictures too!! Another job well done, Hayley!

  5. Pie weights can either be loose little ceramic beads or a long string of metal beads. You use them to keep the pie from poofing up in pockets when you blind bake the crust. Thanks for all of the comments!

  6. i apologize this comment is late, i thought i had done it earlier. but i need to tell you, again, this pie was Amazing! and one of the best gifts i received! Thank you so much Hayley! and i love you way more :)

    P.S. in case you hadn't realized, it was the best birthday ever!!!

  7. such a nice birthday..sorry, but what does it exactly mean to blind bake a crust?

  8. Blind baking, which is sometimes called par-baking, is when you bake the pie shell empty for a little while before you add the filling. It is usually done to prevent the crust from getting soggy while it is baking

  9. Ah, never did I ever know that. Thanks Hails!