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Squash and Honey Pie
Oh My, Pie!

text: bruce weinstein and mark scarbrough photography: eric medsker
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Squash and Honey Pie

Because we use winter squash, not pumpkin, we end up with a heartier, somewhat more savory pie. You can, indeed, use frozen winter squash puree, available in almost all supermarkets, but it’s wet once thawed. So pour the liquid out of the box—or line a colander with paper towels, put the puree inside, and let it drain for 10 or 15 minutes. If you want to go all out, make your own puree. Slice 2 medium acorn squash in half through the stems, and then scoop out the seeds and membranes with a serrated grapefruit spoon. Roast them cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350°F oven until soft and beyond tender, about 1 hour. Cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes, then turn them over, and scrape out the flesh. You can peel off any too-brown bits if they bother you, but they add a sophisticated, vaguely bitter pop to the filling.

For the Crust
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) cold unsalted butter, cutinto small bits
  • 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
  • At least 2 tablespoons very cold water
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
For the Filling
  • 1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 cups frozen winter squash puree, thawed and drained of excess liquid
  • 1 cup whole or low-fat milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Download Ingredients
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place oven rack in the center.
  2. To make the crust: Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening. Cut them in with a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse, dry, white sand.
  3. Stir 2 tablespoons of cold water and the lemon juice in a small bowl or cup. Add to the flour mixture, and stir with a fork until you have a soft, supple, but not sticky dough, adding more cold water in ½-tablespoon increments as necessary. Gather the dough into a ball, dust it with flour, and roll it into an 11-inch circle. Center and set the crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edge, and flute it at will.
  4. To make the filling: Beat the egg, egg yolks, sugar, and honey in a large, clean bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, a little foamy, but still thick, about 2 minutes. Beat in the squash puree, milk, cream, nutmeg, and salt until smooth. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
  5. To finish up: Bake the pie until the crust is lightly browned and the filling set with the slightest jiggle at the center of the pie when the rim of the plate is tapped, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool the pie on a wire rack for at least 1½ hours before slicing into wedges. Store tightly sealed in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Posted in Issue 80 Vol 1, Recipe on Oct 12, 2016