Meringue-Topped Butternut Squash Pie
Creamy, Rich, and Earthy. The holidays are here, some here sooner than others, and that means it’s time to load up on the autumn spices, wholesome hearty flavors, and of course pie. If you like pumpkin pie and are up for trying new things, then this unique treat is a must try.
Cold days and colder nights. Gusts of wind and grey skies. Fallen leaves and falling rain. With summer long gone, and autumn well on its way out, we pile our homes ceiling high with warm woolen sweaters, old trusty quilts, and hearty, heart-warming pies. We seek shelter indoors, and in the reprieve of a carefully constructed recipe handed down from one mother to the next. We smile with each new discovery of warmth.
And then the days get colder. The nights are now freezing. Gusts of wind become unbearable and grey skies seem black and endless. Fallen leaves turn brown and muddy. And the falling rain, once peaceful, now storms down with a thunderous rush. We hide behind our sweaters, buried deep in our quilts. And those warm pies, once our trusty friend, now barely rob the air of its chill. Our smiles fade like the waning days.
And suddenly winter’s here. The only reprieve from it’s frigid grasp is the summer we just seemed to leave. But then we spot just one more golden, red shiny maple leaf. We see a little blue poking through those dark, damp grey clouds. And we decide today is the day to make that pie, just one more time. So we do. And it’s marvelous. Just like mom used to make. Just like grandma’s.
- 2 large butternut squash, (about 2 lbs flesh)
- 6 ounces sugar
- 1 ounce flour
- 4 eggs
- 1½ cups cream
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound pie dough (recipe below)
- 1 quart italian meringue (recipe below)
- Preheat an oven to 350°F. Prepare the pie dough and italian meringue according to the instructions and set aside.
- Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Roast the squash on a lined baking sheet for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the flesh is soft.
- Once cool, remove the flesh from the squash. Puree in a food processor until completely pureed.
- Remove the puree to a large bowl and add the sugar, flour, eggs, cream, cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- Roll out the pie dough and place it in a deep 9" pie dish. Pour the filling into the pie dish.
- Bake at 350°F for 1 hour, or until the pie is set, and barely jiggles in the center.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Once cool, top with the italian meringue and torch if desired.
- 16 oz. sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup egg whites
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place the sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Bring the sugar to 240°F.
- While the sugar is heating, begin whipping the egg whites until the are fluffy and have expanded 2 to 3 times in volume.
- Once the sugar is at 240°F and the egg whites are foamy, immediately begin slowly adding the hot sugar into the egg whites while whipping at medium-high speed. Be sure to add the sugar very slowly in a needle thin stream in between the whisk attachment and the side of the mixer bowl to avoid splattering.
- Once the sugar is added, slowly pour in the vanilla while mixing. Increase the speed and whip the mixture at high speed until it is completely cooled and the egg whites form stiff peaks, about 10 to 20 minutes.
- Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- 12.5 ounces bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces butter, very cold
- 3 ounces lard, very cold
- ⅓ cup water, very cold
- Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Chop the cold butter and lard into ½ inch chunks and add it to the flour mixture.
- Using your hands, begin to pinch the chunks of butter and lard between your fingers to break the pieces into smaller, flatter chunks. Work fast to avoid letting the butter and lard warm up too much. Do not completely mix the butter and lard into the flour.
- Once the mixture resemble a coarse mixture (with oat or pea sized chunks of butter and lard dispersed throughout) add the water and knead the mixture just until it comes together. Again over mixing is the devil when it comes to pie dough.
- Flatten the dough out on parchment paper, cover and refrigerate for two hours. This lets the dough harden for rolling out and gives the butter and flour a chance to work their magic.
What’s your favorite autumn pie? Share it wish us in the comments!