Adrie’s Pumpkin Pie

Recipe courtesy of Adrie Lester of Wheatberry Cafe and the Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain CSA, who blogs at Fields and Fire.

The first thing to note is that this pie is not made with pumpkin. (Most pumpkin filling you buy at the store isn’t either – it’s sweet potato or a different squash). If you really want, you can use pumpkin, but you’ll need to drain out the liquid – hang it in some cheesecloth overnight. It will be nicer, also, if you puree it – pumpkin is very stringy, not at all like the smooth filling most of us expect. I make my pie with squash – I cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast it at 350 (or thereabouts, depending on what else I’m baking) until it’s completely soft and mushy. Then I scoop it out of the skin, but some squash skin is delicious and you can blend it all up together. My favorite varieties, personally, are Kuri, Buttercup, Butternut, and Sweet Dumpling. Then again, I haven’t tried them all yet! Also, the sweetness of the squash can vary a lot – the first time I made this the sweetness was perfect, but the next time it really could’ve used a bit more maple syrup. So taste your squash and adjust as needed.  (You can always drizzle some maple syrup on top of the pie afterward – oh darn, right?)

The big change I made to this recipe was that I left out the heavy cream. I love cream, but when I went to make this pie I didn’t have any, so I decided to try it without, and it was amazing. The cream really mellows out the flavor, too much for my tastes, and without it, the squash sings loud and clear.

The Best Squash Pie

  • 1 1/2 pounds roasted squash, pumpkin, or sweet potato
  • 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • pie crust (I recommend the lard crust from Cooking from Quilt Country – the easiest and most delicious you’ll ever make)

Preheat the oven to 350.  Roll out your pie crust, fill your pan, and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.  (This prevents the crust from falling down when you bake it.)  Pre-bake the crust for about 15 minutes, until just firm.

Meanwhile, mix together all remaining ingredients.  Pour into pie crust and bake for about 1 hour, until the filling is lightly brown and a bit puffed up.  Let it cool a bit, but this pie is at its best served warm.  Even better the day for lunch.