We all love pumpkin pie. I pretty much like everything pumpkin – the only thing I’ve yet to try is pumpkin in soups or for that matter, anything savory. For years I wrinkled my nose at pumpkin soups and pumpkin in anything savory, even though I never tried it (and still haven’t tried it, yet I’ve warmed to the idea of pumpkin soup considerably since: enough for me to be willing to try it, particularly this one from Kim right now.)
Today isn’t about soup or, for that matter, anything that is savory or about the autumnal, orange glory that is pumpkin. We’re looking at another gourd, or squash, that I’ve learned to recognize by its slight hourglass shape – or is it pear-shaped? – the butternut squash. I’ll cut to the chase here – it makes fantastic pie, some even swear it’s better than pumpkin pie. Ever since I read that (in a blog’s comments thread, no less) I was keen to try it and see – taste – for myself. “Better than pumpkin pie?”
Oh, yes! That’s what I said out loud when I first tasted it. Though I did not have a mirror at the time, I am sure that my eyes sparkled at that moment as it washed over my taste buds. It was dreamy. It’s the pumpkin pie that I’ve wanted to recreate at home for ages and now have, but even better indeed than any pumpkin pie that I’ve tasted, homemade or from the store. (Pumpkin pie hasn’t gone completely out the window, though – I mean, I still like pumpkin.)
I also thought that it would be a great way to celebrate my first blog anniversary.
So much has happened within this one year – more than I could have fathomed when I first started. More than I could have fathomed when I first thought of writing a food blog. Do you know how much I’ve posted within one year? One hundred. This post will make it one hundred and one. But, maybe technically, I’ve really been blogging for four years – the first three spent in planning, wanting everything done right, before I even thought of posting: for the whole world to see. In this time, my photography has also improved, I think drastically, since I started. And as my photography’s improved, I’ve learned to look at my early food photos and see their potential, their charm, rather than mentally cringe with embarrassment and quickly scroll down the page without so much as a glance. I try to remember when one of those early photos I had felt immensely proud about and realize where I was then at that point with my camera skills, in contrast to where I am and what I do now
As this site has grown, so too has my appreciation and gratitude. I’m thrilled when I receive comments from you all, when you tell me you’ve made my recipes or I get to see it on your site; it warms my heart when I get comments from parents telling me how much their children love a particular recipe, that they’re eating it for their breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert, packed in their lunch boxes. Even if I wasn’t getting that sort of feedback, if it was just me, I’d still be blogging recipes, but it is your feedback and support, through your emails and your comments, as well as support and encouragement from my family that make this adventure all the more meaningful to me. Thank you.
P.S. I apologize for the lack of photos…I was playing with a camera that needs new batteries, which I hadn’t replaced yet as I needed to get more at the time.
One year ago: Pumpkin Pie and Whipped Coconut Cream (SCD & GFCF)
It’s better than pumpkin pie! Seriously. While I still have a spot for pumpkin, there are people who have tried butternut squash pie and don’t look back. Interestingly, I recently found out that butternut is often called butternut pumpkin in Australia and New Zealand, and in Australia it is regarded as a pumpkin and often used interchangeably with other kinds of pumpkin.
In the New York Times recipe, there was a pinch of cayenne, though I chose to omit this as there’s already black pepper used for that bit of a zip. I was interested in trying black pepper in this pie, though, since I had some pumpkin pie and there was black pepper as one of the ingredients for the filling. If these spices aren’t your thing, you can sub them with your favourite pumpkin pie spices or use butternut squash in place of the pumpkin in my recipe for pumpkin pie.
I chose not to make a crust for this, though you can make it with a crust if you so choose. Just adjust the baking times accordingly. I’m not sure how much the butternut squash I used weighed…the scale I use has a maximum capacity of 5 pounds and the butternut went over that. I used almost one half and pureed it with a hand blender. The other half my family and I ate for dinner, seasoning it with salt and pepper and a little olive oil or butter. For tips on how to roast butternut squash (or any squash) until I’ve made my own post, I recommend Carrie’s.
Makes one 8- or 9-inch pie
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup honey
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom (optional)
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg or cloves
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups roasted butternut squash puree, packed
1 1/2 cups thick coconut milk or coconut cream (or 3/4 cup thick coconut milk and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk)
Preheat oven to 300°F. For this pie, I’m using a stainless steel 8-inch pie pan and I lined the bottom with parchment paper so that it wouldn’t get scratch marks when it was time to cut the pie.
Beat the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, honey, salt, and spices together. Add squash puree and blend well, until completely mixed. Mix in the coconut milk. You can do this by hand, like I did, or in a food processor.
Pour into the prepared pie pan and bake for 40 minutes. Increase the heat to 325°F and continue baking for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool, the centre will jiggle a bit in the middle and will set as it cools. It may crack in the middle, but that’s alright. The filling firms up more when refrigerated, making it easier to slice and serve. Enjoy!
Too long to wait?
1 hour and 10 minutes may seem a bit too long to wait for pie, right? Alternately, you can bake the whole thing at 325°F for 40 minutes or use the oven temperatures and baking times (45 to 50 minutes total) for my pumpkin pie linked above.
Freezing: The filling freezes well in the pie plate, covered with plastic wrap.