For years, my family used canned pumpkin in our pie. When you’re spooning in heaps of ginger powder, cinnamon, clove, and grated ginger, we all thought, it hardly matters whether you use canned mush or a fresh puree—it’s all just a vehicle for ferrying sugar and spices to your mouth.
At some point while flipping through my dog-eared Fannie Farmer Cookbook, I noticed a recipe for winter squash pie. It called for winter squash puree in place of pumpkin puree, heavy cream in place of evaporated milk, and a fat dose of brandy along with the usual spices. I noticed that the proportions of cream to squash were higher than evaporated milk to pumpkin. I hoped this would make for a lighter pie, and I was right. This caramelized butternut squash pie is silky and creamy without being pasty or heavy. Even with the hefty dose of ginger, the flavor is fresher and brighter than its pumpkin kin, but close enough to fool people come Thanksgiving. And the brandy added a warm, sophisticated note.
Years later, when I discovered how easy butternut squash is to peel—the thin skin slips right off with a vegetable peeler—I could imagine tossing cubes of it with butter and sugar and cooking the squash until almost candied, then turning it all into my pie.–Melissa Clark
LC Still Suspicious of a Butternut Squash Pie? Note
Do you really want that humdrum pie from the Libby’s label again? True, this caramelized butternut squash pie recipe requires just a little more time and effort than hauling out a can opener, not to mention a little more open-mindedness. But considering that butternut squash is so easy to find and a cinch to peel (just grab a swivel vegetable peeler and have a go at it), we see it as a worthy investment, one that’s rewarded quite handsomely with a complex dessert that’s wholly unlike that mild and mushy jiggliness that Libby bequeathed to us.
Caramelized Butternut Squash Pie
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 2 H, 35 M
- Serves 6 to 8
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Recipe Testers Reviews
This caramelized butternut squash pie pie finished well, looking very much like your traditional pumpkin version. It has a velvety smooth texture, but is a little on the soft side, so you need to be careful removing it from the dish to serve. (I’m not sure how well it would hold up if you were to put a dollop of whipped cream on top of it.) Although you can buy a whole butternut squash, some markets sell it peeled and cubed, which can save you a lot of preparation time. Another thing to keep in mind is that it’s really easy to buy a container of squash puree, and then add the other ingredients from this recipe to make a fairly decent pie.