Ronnie Hollingsworth’s Most Excellent Squash Pie
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In the notes to Ronnie Hollingsworth’s Most Excellent Squash Pie recipe in The Dirty Life, Kristin Kimball writes:
“Pumpkin shmumpkin, winter squash has more flavor and better texture.”
So true. I have been making this squash pie with butternut squash for the past five Thanksgivings, and it always receives rave reviews.
Are you skeptical about switching up your pumpkin pie routine?
Don’t let the work of roasting a butternut squash deter you. Can I say it? It’s easy as pie! How many times do you roast a squash over the course of a winter? You can do it in your sleep.
I promise you: If you forget the pumpkin this year, you won’t be disappointed.
One 2 lb. 10oz butternut squash yielded about 3 cups purée:
Freshly whipped cream: If, and only if, you have a tiny kitchen lacking a blender or food processor, know that you can make whipped cream using a mason jar. I saw a little recipe in the back of the latest Saveur that called for a 15-minute freezing of a 1-qt mason jar filled with 1 cup of heavy cream, two tablespoons confectioners sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. After the brief freezing, you shake the jar till your arms fall off, and with any luck you will open the jar to find…
luscious whipped cream. Good luck.
I recently garnished this favorite butternut squash pie with pie crust cookies — so pretty!
- Dough yields two 9-inch rounds, enough for 2 single-crust pies/tarts. If you don’t want to make 2 pies, freeze one of the rounds. It will keep for months frozen. Thaw in fridge overnight before using. (Or you could simply halve the recipe.) If you’re looking for another pie to make, here are three ideas:
- For a more visual guide to making the pie dough, watch the video below.
- For guidance on rolling out the dough and crimping the edge, watch this video.
- If you are able to plan ahead, fit the dough into the pie plate and freeze, wrapped in plastic wrap, for 24 hours before baking. If you don’t have time, 30 – 60 minutes will suffice. A longer freeze will better preserve the fluted edge.
- I no longer blind bake the crust. It doesn’t seem necessary, but feel free to if you wish. I find my Emile Henry pie plate (similar to this one) makes a crisp crust without a blind bake.
- Also, if you cannot muster the energy to roast a butternut squash — but please please try…you won’t be disappointed — you can use one 15-oz can of pumpkin purée in place of the 2 cups of squash purée.
- To make the pie crust cookies, roll out the pie trimmings, cut into shapes using whatever cutters you have on hand, place on parchment-lined baking sheet, freeze one hour, then bake at 350ºF for 20 to 25 minutes. Arrange on top of finished pie as you wish. Pie Crust Cookie recipe from Michelle Lopez’s Weeknight Baking.
For the pastry:
- 2½ cups (11.25 oz | 320g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ tsp. table salt
- 16 T. (8 oz | 227g) unsalted butter
- ½ C. + 2 T. (4 oz + 1 oz) ice water
For the pie:
- 1 medium butternut squash, about 2.5 lbs or enough to yield 2 cups of purée, see notes above
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground or powdered nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (I omit)
For the whipped cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- confectioners’ sugar
- flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
- Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar and salt together (or pulse in food processor). Cut butter into flour and using the back of a fork or a pastry cutter, incorporate butter into flour mixture until butter is in small pieces. (If using food processor, pulse at 1-second intervals until butter is the size of peas.) Add ice water and continue to stir with fork until mixture comes together to form a mass. Add more ice water if necessary, one tablespoon at a time. Gently form mass into a ball, divide in half, and flatten each half into a disc.
- If you are making a pie immediately, roll out one disc, place in a 9-inch pie dish and crimp the edge to make it fluted (video guidance here) and transfer to the freezer for at least 30 minutes, but ideally 24 hours. Save scraps for pie cookies. Wrap remaining disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
- Meanwhile, halve and clean the butternut squash, rub the flesh lightly with olive oil, and bake at 400ºF on a parchment-lined baking sheet, until very soft, about an hour (but start checking after 45 minutes). When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Measure out 2 cups. It a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, sugar and spices. Whisk in the squash.
- Add squash mixture to chilled shell and bake at 350ºF for 55 to 65 minutes, depending on your oven and how much squash purée you ended up using, until the center is barely set. Let cool completely before serving.
- To make the salted whipped cream: Whip heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks begin to form. (You can do this by hand, too, with a bowl and whisk.) Add confectioner’s sugar — start with 1/4 cup and add more to taste. Add a big pinch of sea salt and beat to combine and until the peaks begin getting firmer. Taste — the mixture should be slightly sweet and the salt should be noticeable, though the whipped cream should not taste salty.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: squash, pie, Thanksgiving, dessert, pumpkin, easy