This pie tastes like the perfect blend of pecan pie and pumpkin pie — only it’s neither one and even better!I remember the Thanksgiving when I was in culinary school. I was in my third month of the pastry course, and I made pie after pie for my family’s feast. Each one was more elaborate and prettier than the next.I distinctly remember making dozens of intricately detailed maple leaves out of pie crust dough, and making fillings that took days to prepare. And I loved every single second of it.
Almost 20 years, a husband, two kids, and a demanding puppy later, I don’t quite have that sort of time anymore. That’s why this pie is rustic looking — and to me that means it’s a bit messy — but only in the coolest, most beautiful way. (Yes, the top edges of the crust might fall apart a bit while serving – that’s okay!)
While I can’t spend several hours delicately using the back of my paring knife to make tiny veins in the pie crust dough maple leaves, I can spend an hour or so assembling this sort of scrumptious pie. (Most of the prep time for this recipe is refrigeration and baking time.)And let me tell you, it’s really scrumptious! The pie crust is made almost entirely of nuts and it tastes like a delicious pecan pie — in and of itself! Imagine topping that with another delicious pie — full of creamy, sweet butternut squash and chai spices. I’m telling you, this is really over the top!FYI, this pie was more orange in color the day it was baked. The next day it’s equally as delicious, but less orange, and more brown. Again, it’s rustic. 😉
- 2 cups pecans
- 1 cup walnuts
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 (approximately 3-pound) roasted butternut squash -- you will need 4 cups squash purée (here's How to Roast a Butternut Squash)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon potato starch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
- pinch of salt
- Add the pecans and walnuts to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and blend until it's just becoming -- but isn't quite -- a paste. They should be somewhere between a powder and paste, and should look like this:
- Add the processed nuts to a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix until everything is evenly blended and then press it into a 10-inch pie plate.
- It will be about ½-inch thick, thicker than a typical pie crust. Be sure to bring the crust on top of the top edge as it will shrink a bit during the baking time. Like this:
- Place the prepared crust in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes, and during that time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Once the oven is preheated and the pie has refrigerated for at least 45 minutes, place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake until it's becoming golden and is sizzling, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Keep the oven on.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, use a whisk to blend the 4 cups of butternut squash (see notes) purée with the sugar, eggs, egg yolk, potato starch, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and pinch of salt.
- Once the crust is about room temperature, pour in the filling. Keeping the filled pie on the baking sheet, place it in the (still) preheated 350 degree F oven and very loosely, cover it with a piece of foil. (The foil should not be wrapped around the pie plate, it should be sitting on top, more or less.) Bake it this way for 1 hour, then remove the foil and bake until it's set, about 10 more minutes. When you move the baking sheet, it should no longer jiggle in the center. You can also stick a wooden skewer int he center -- it should come out clean when it's done. (Cooking times may vary.)
- Cool to room temperature and serve.