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Nov 182009
 

I look forward to seasonal food this time of year for many reasons, and the amazing flavor of winter squash is a big part of what I love about food in this season. I always choose organic winter squashes because they are grown in a way that protects the environment, but also because non-organic squashes are often treated with a petroleum-based fungicidal wax to extend shelf-life. These waxes are really difficult to remove and are absorbed into the squash’s otherwise delicious flesh — Myra Goodman

Transform the traditional pumpkin pie into something nice and natural Photo by Denise Kappa Dreamstime_com

Transform the traditional pumpkin pie into something nice and natural (Photo: Denise Kappa Dreamstime_com.)

Lots of aromatic spices add fragrance and flavor to this festive seasonal pie.  I like the combination of pumpkin and winter squash purees, but you can use all pumpkin or all squash if you prefer. If you must you can use canned purees – but of course you can also roast your own pumpkins or squash (Instructions below). Serve the pie warm, with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche.

See directions for making pumpkin or squash purees, after the recipe. Use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Ingredients:
1 disk Sweet Pie Crust dough (Recipe here) or Flaky Whole-Grain Pie Crust dough (Recipe here)
1 cup canned or homemade pure pumpkin puree
1 cup canned or homemade butternut squash puree
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten 
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Instructions:
1. Roll out the dough to form an 11-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing it firmly into the plate. Trim the overhanging pastry to ½ inch, and turn it under. Flute the edge of the crust. Then refrigerate it, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

2. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Place the pumpkin and squash purees in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add the cream and whisk again to blend.

3. Pour the filling into the chilled pie shell, place on the rimmed baking sheet, and bake until the pie is set in the middle and golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes.

4. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving. (The pie can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days.)

How to Make Pumpkin and Squash Purees

“Although you can’t beat the convenience of canned squash and pumpkin purees, making your own is really quite simple and the taste is superior to anything you can buy,” Myra says. “Roasting is the best method, as it brings out the natural sweetness of the flesh and intensifies its flavor without adding extra moisture.

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF.

2. Cut the pumpkin or squash into several large pieces, all about the same size. Scrape out the seeds and fibers and discard (or save seeds for another use).

3. Lightly butter one side of a large sheet of aluminum foil, preferably recycled, and wrap the pumpkin pieces in the foil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet or baking pan and cook until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a skewer or the tip of a knife, 30 to 45 minutes. Let the pumpkin cool in the foil wrapping. Scoop out the flesh, discard the skins, and mash with a potato masher or hand-held stick blender until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 5 days.

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