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Monday, December 26, 2011

Butternut Squash Pie

Merry Christmas to you all! I realize I haven't posted anything in a while... because I have been too busy baking, wrapping, baking, unwrapping, eating, drinking, being merry, baking, hugging, thanking, and cooking.

I'm a bit exhausted and feeling a little bit Christmas hungover, but I would go back to two weeks ago and do it all again if I could. I can't begin to explain how much Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year! I could never sustain the frenzy of activity and energy that happens in December for another minute, but I do wish we could all hold on to the joy of thinking about others, giving thoughtful gifts, surprising those we love, and generally hoping and wondering and being amazed. I love to see what happens when we all put our best selves forward, try to do for each other, and enjoy the moments we have together.

For Christmas, we weren't sure if we should expect a crowd of 10 or a crowd of 20 at my parents' house. Of course, I had to bake for at least 30. Just in case, you know, Santa stuck around for dinner. Or accidentally left some elves behind.

As it turns out, there ended up being too much dessert. As in too much by about 3 pies or so. That's okay, though, because they will be well appreciated in the staff room at my mother's library this week.

First up, I thought I would make a pumpkin pie (inspired by the line from the Christmas carol "When they pass around the coffee And the pumpkin pie, It'll nearly be like a picture print, By Currier and Ives...")

I mean, who doesn't want their Christmas to look like this?

Okay, I see no pumpkin pie or coffee in this picture print. Nor could I even find a picture print by Currier and Ives that contains coffee or pumpkin pie. But if I were out ice skating, I would probably want some coffee. And some pumpkin pie. Mostly because that would be an excuse to sit on a sofa instead of falling all over the ice.

So anyway, since Currier and Ives didn't have any pumpkin pie, I guess it is fitting that we didn't either. We, on the other hand, had Butternut Squash Pie. I think butternut squash is a perfect substitute for 
pumpkin in most recipes, and in pie it particularly makes for creamier results.

This recipe is the one my grandmother used to use. In her cookbook, she had listed her preferred ingredients for the pie, with the note that the directions from the label on the can of Libby's pumpkin.

I know there are a million pumpkin pie recipes out there, but I think that this one has all I could ever want... just the right amount of sugar and spice, enough squash flavor, and ingredients I always have on hand.

Here you go!

Butternut Squash Pie

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 3/4 cup butternut squash puree
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Either make or defrost a pie crust and place into the pie pan. I use the recipe from the handy Better Homes and Gardens cookbook... you know the one with the red and white checkered cover that surely someone gave you as a wedding gift? That's the one! 

Preheat the oven to 425.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and then combine with the eggs. Add the squash, butter, salt, and milk. Pour into the pie crust. 

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 350. Continue to bake it for another 50-60 minutes (until the entire pipe is set, and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean).