This week while M2 was resting I baked. I also made soup, lots and lots of soup. But I’m not going to share soup recipes just yet, because soup still makes me think of thermometers and days spent on the sofa. By the way I want a new sofa. I baked the second pie that I have ever made. I know, shocking right!? Trust me , if you had been around for the first attempt you would understand. I’ve been hiding from pies for the past 17 years. Forget being plagued by the Cookie Monster, the pie monster is truly terrifying. I suppose it’s some consolation that I was never taught how to bake a pie.
The only time that my parents had pie in the house was during Thanksgiving and they were store bought. Don’t get me wrong, some store bought pies are insanely good but no one in my family ever really baked. Even my granny only baked on occasion for special Sunday dinners. When she did bake it was mostly cobblers. I suppose that’s why my first pie attempt was my dads favorite Pecan Pie. It was supposed to be a smashing hit and show the family that there was a baker in the family after all.
Lets just leave it at I did succeed…in grossing everyone out. I didn’t quite go down in family history the way that I’d planned on that infamous Thanksgiving. I do believe that I offended every cook in my family all the way back to Ellis Island, if not further. Now you know why I stick with cheesecakes and cakes, I had to redeem myself somehow.
This beautiful butternut squash pie though is my personal redemption and it’s all thanks to my mixer. I know guys, weird but true. As y’all know I adore my KitchenAid mixer that the guys surprised me a while back. My mixer is the girly equivalent of my surfers surround sound system. Both make you want to stand up with your arms spread wide, belting out an operatic aria “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa”. It is my versatile wunderkind of mechanical magic.
My mixer has not only helped us create some scrumptious sweets but the variety of attachments available has turned our daily prep work into a dream. Most of all they have added organization to my kitchen, which I desperately needed. So far I only have a few attachments, but I lie awake at night dreaming of all the different possibilities. This past Christmas I purchased the ice cream bowl attachment so that the boys and I could whip up some cool treats. Then not to long ago KitchenAid generously sent me the the Slicer & Shredder attachment, as well as the Fruit & Vegetable Strainer attachment to play around with.
The monkeys enjoy being able to slice the cheese, fruits and vegetables for their snack trays all on their own. Personally, I’m all for the whole bag of potatoes being sliced in 5 minutes to make loads of Pancetta Scalloped Potatoes. Then there’s this little gizmo, after using it to make pie this week I’m now looking forward to making puree so much, that I will need to borrow my dads freezer in order to store it all.
Would you just look at that strainer go! All I had to do was bake my squash, remove the skin, place the squash in the tray and turn my mixer on to Speed 4. A few pushes of squash with my handy dandy wand and the strainer is free to work its magic. I can’t help viewing the strainer as the adult version of a PLAY-DOH toy. Only we’re not growing hair but making a homemade puree’s. The strainer not only made short work of the butternut squash, it also spit out the pulp that isn’t needed. I see apple butter, jams and pies in our very near future y’all. Lots and lots of pies!
This pie is really simple to make, I promise. The hardest part is trying not to salivate too much over the aroma of baking butternut squash, melted butter and exotic spices. Actually, the truly torturous part is waiting a second time for the pie to finish baking. But when the pie finally comes out of the oven all warm with the crust perfectly golden and flaky, makes it all worth while.
I truly hope that you guys give this recipe a try sooner rather than later. Don’t let your fears or past mistakes keep you from playing around in the kitchen this weekend. Under the weather monkeys are the only reason that you shouldn’t venture into the land of culinary exploration.
Much love and hugs,
PS: M2 is back on his feet and has gotten his groove back from his adventures with Scarlet Fever. Mom on the other hand is still recuperating from sleep deprivation ;)
*This was not a sponsored post by KitchenAid; but they did generously send me toys to check out and create lovely food with*
Butternut Squash Pie: Makes approx. 8 slices
1 large butternut squash cooked and pureed, about 1 1/2 lbs pureed squash (mine yielded 1 lb 3.3 oz)
2 teaspoons softened butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground all spice Pie Filling
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
3 large eggs
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons Chevre goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise; remove the stem and scoop out the seeds.Slice a little from the back of each squash half, in order to keep it from rolling sideways on the baking tray. Place the squash on a foil-lined oiled baking pan, cut side up; rub the softened butter onto the squash and into the seed free cavity. Sprinkle with cinnamon and allspice. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender. Let cool completely then peel and mash or puree the squash or put it through a food mill. Measure 1 1/2 cups of the squash and set aside.
Reduce oven to 350 degrees and position an oven rack in the center.
In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat the squash with the sugar and molasses. Add the eggs, half and half, cinnamon, all spice, salt, flour, butter and vanilla. Beat until thoroughly combined. Pour the filling into the chilled pie and place on the center oven rack. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until set.
While the pie is baking, combine all of the ingredients needed for the pecan crumble (except the butter) in a food processor and pulse until you have a fine mixture. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture comes together and is course crumbs.
Check after about 35 minutes and loosely place a ring of foil or pie crust protector over the crust so that it won’t become too dark while baking. During the last 15 -20 minutes of baking sprinkle the top of the pie with pecan crumble and the goat cheese. When the pie is set, transfer to a rack in order to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.