Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mini Butternut Squash Pies

This was a tasty treat and somewhat unusual since it uses a butternut squash instead of pumpkin. The difference is very subtle, but with all the usual pumpkin pie ingredients, you can hardly notice! I found this recipe at, which is a favorite for finding new recipes, and pretty much followed it exactly with the exception of roasting the squash instead of boiling it.

So I had a medium size butternut squash that was going to become delicious soup, but then tiny mold spots appeared at the stem. I guess that's why they were so cheap at the store :( We had the tasty soup not too long ago, so I searched on All Recipes for a recipe that was not soup, and then I found it! I didn't take pictures of the process, but here's how to make them:

Pie Filling:
1 1/2 c.peeled and cubed butternut squash (medium squash yields about this much)
1 c. lightly packed brown sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
1 c. evaporated milk
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground nutmeg
(i basically just sprinkled in the pinches to what seemed appropriate)

Crust: (not a favorite crust, but it works. use your preferred pie crust if you have one)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 c. cubed butter wannabe, like a healthy margarine such as Promise or Smart Balance - freeze this for a few hours. since it's not butter, it won't get too hard, but just extra cold.
1 T. healthy shortening (please no trans fat) (oh, you could probably do without this too- the original recipe has 5 T. butter and 4 T. shortening. What a drag to measure tub shortening, so I just used one stick of butter wannabe plus a tablespoon shortening)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ice water
***you'll want to double this pie crust recipe to use all of the pie filling. or save on time and use premade ones. I hear Whole Foods makes an excellent crust.

1. Roast the squash. Don't know how to roast? Line a cookie sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray/smear oil on it, cut the squash in half and seed it (remove stem too), place cut side down and bake for 30-40 min at 375* F.

2. Meanwhile, load up your pie crust ingredients in your food processesor and pulse three times, three seconds each. It should look like fine crumbles. Lay out some plastic wrap and put the crumbles in the center. Wrap it up so that the crumbles come together as a ball. Once it holds together well on it's own, place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or more.

3. While the dough is setting up, your squash should be almost done. When it's done, I let it cool a little before working with it, but you could be impatient and burn your fingers a little along the way. You'll need to take off the skin and stringy stuff and puree it in the food processor or blender. Once it's all smooth, combine the rest of the filling ingredients. Stick it in the fridge while you wait for the dough. You could preheat your oven to 350* at this time as well.

4. Roll out the dough and cut out circles. A wide mouth mason jar lid ring works well. In each standard sized muffin tin, place the dough in it and conform it to the bottom and make a crust with any excess dough. again and again.

5. Fill each mini pie to the tip top. You'll notice in m picture that the filling shrunk. So, filling to the tip top is the way to go.

6. Bake for 40 min at 350*


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