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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Not quite pumpkin pie

This Sunday while I was working, my father in law came over to hang out with my hubby/watch football/raid my fridge.  No, no, it's not his secret plan to wait until I'm gone and eat all my food.  He appreciates my cooking, and therefore I give him free reign over the contents of my refrigerator.  My husband is a bit more stingy, telling him "No, that's MINE!" about everything in there, but I keep threatening that I will quit cooking if he doesn't play nice and learn how to share.  It's not limited to his father, though...every time he sees me leaving the house with something I've made he panics.  It's kind of funny, really.  In talking to my other female friends that cook, I found this is a common thing among the males in our life.  I keep reminding him that this isn't the last pie/jam/quickbread/beef stew that I'll ever make, but I don't think it's quite sunk in yet.  In any exchange for the food that he took (and LOVED!  Score one for me!!!!!), my amazing father in law brought me apple cider (my favorite!) and two of the biggest butternut squashes I've ever seen!  

Biggest squash EVER!
Seriously, look at the size of these things!

Even though I JUST made an apple crumb pie, my hubby's first request was "You should make me a pie out of these".  I didn't see any good reason not to, and besides, I've never had a butternut squash pie before.  And since it is so close to pumpkin, I figured it couldn't be that bad, right?  So, off to the kitchen I went and started on my next project/invention.  

First things first - roast those beautiful squashes!  The roasting makes removing the skin totally easy.  Once they're roasted and cooled a bit, just scoop out the seeds (SAVE THEM!!  Roasted squash seeds are both delicious and nutritious!).  Then just throw the peeled and seeded squash into a food processor until you have a smooth velvety puree.
 I then line a strainer with a paper towel, dump the puree into it and place it over a bowl. This will help some of the excess water to drain out.  I set this aside while I am doing the prep work.  So, I guess now is a good time to unleash the recipe.

Butternut Squash Pie with Vanilla Cinnamon Whipped Cream
For the pie:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
2 1/2  cups butternut squash puree
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp  ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 pie shell (get the recipe and tutorial HERE!)

For the whipped cream:
1 c heavy whipping cream
4 tsp confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Make your pie shell and set aside. 

Look familiar?

Place eggs in mixer and lightly beat.  Add condensed milk and butternut squash and mix on medium until well blended. Finally, add your spices, and mix until well incorporated. 
Action shot!
Should end up looking like this

 Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie shell and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  


After 15 minutes, adjust oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Continue baking for 35 - 40 minutes,  or until pie is mostly set and the center is slightly jiggly. No worries, that sassy center will set up once the pie cools.  

Once the pie is done baking, set on a wire rack to cool.

Say it with me - OOOOOOHHH!

That's it for the pie!  Seriously simple.  

While the pie is cooling, make the whipped cream.  Pour heavy cream and confectioners sugar into mixer with wire whisk attachment.  Beat on high until soft peaks form.

Here's your soft peaks
Use caution when working with cream - you can go from milk to butter very quickly if you don't watch it closely.  Once it gets to that point, you're stuck with it.  But with a little vigilance, this is not hard.  I promise.

Turn off mixer and add vanilla.  Turn back on high and mix until you get stiff peaks.  

And stiff peaks

Turn off and add cinnamon, and give it a couple more turns with the mixer.  Remove from the bowl and put into a covered container and stick it in the fridge.  

Once the pie is completely cool, it is ready to serve!  Cut a slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.  I was surprised at how good this is!  
Oh my that's BEAUTIFUL!!  

And it's not sickeningly sweet, which I liked.  So, I guess the next step is to call my father in law so he can try what his gift inspired.  I'll have to leave instructions with my husband so he knows he needs to share.....

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