When it's turkey time, pumpkin pie takes center stage, but a humble squash can still steal the show especially when it's dressed up with browned butter and plenty of spices. While I love a good flaky butter crust, on a day that requires plenty of kitchen time and far more counter space than I have available, it's nice to make a crust that doesn't need to be rolled out. And if you love a good cookie crust, this gingersnap one is well worth trying.
You can use any pumpkin pie spice mix for this pie, but I'm particularly fond of the blend that Trader Joe's makes with cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves and just a hint of cardamom. If you don't have a Trader Joe's near you, try my standby homemade mix: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground clove, and 1/8 teaspoon ground all spice.
About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered literary agent by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie, a Midtown Lunch contributor, and co-author of New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks. You can follow her on Twitter at @BlondieBrownie.
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- Yield:Serves 8
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:3 hours 30 minutes
- For the Crust:
- 12 ounces ginger snap cookies, finely crushed
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- For the filling:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 (15 ounce) can pureed squash
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Move oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Add gingersnap crumbs to a 9-inch pie plate. Pour melted butter over the crumbs. Use a spoon to mix and stir crumbs around until they are fully moistened. Press crumbs into the bottom and sides of the pan and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, brown butter over medium heat, swirling the pan every so often. Once the butter has browned, transfer it to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat together the butter and sugar until combined. Beat in squash, milk, spices and vanillla. Beat in the eggs, scraping down the sides and beating until just incorporated. Pour filling into prepared crust then bake for 50-60 minutes or until the edges of the filling are set and the very center is still slightly wobbly. Remove pie from oven and cool completely before serving, about 2 to 3 hours.