Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pear & Butternut Squash Pie

Recently, a local mom launched her Milk & Honey ice cream business. When she announced one of this month's flavors, Rum Ginger Caramel, a couple of weeks ago I started imagining pies to go with it. And that is how the Pear & Butternut Squash Pie was born. The pie was totally sublime with the ice cream.

Now I realize not everyone has Rum Ginger Caramel ice cream in their freezer. So we tested the pie with good quality vanilla ice cream as well. (You know, purely for science, we had to make sure it was still good!) You could also make a rum caramel sauce to swirl with some regular vanilla ice cream from the store.

Sliced squash.
This pie uses winter squash differently than you are probably used to. The squash is not pureed, but left in pieces. A concept I first ran across in Dorie Greenspan's book, "Baking From My Home to Yours." I quartered the squash and then thinly sliced it.

Now about the crust, I used leaf shaped cookie cutters to create the top crust, but you can also cut them out with a pairing knife, or make a lattice pie crust. I made the crust with white whole wheat flour, but all purpose flour works fine to of course. If this is your first foray into pie crust making, it is not difficult, but I do have a few helpful tips. There are some nice tips, with pictures, here as well.

  •  Don't over process the dough, you want to mix only until the dough just begins to form a ball.
  • Let the dough rest for 30-60 minutes after you've mixed it.
  • The dough is easiest to roll out and handle when it is cooler than room temperature, not cold though.
  • Don't be afraid of using plenty of flour when you are rolling out the dough. You can always brush off any excess.
  • You can make the balls of dough ahead and refrigerate, or freeze, until you are ready to use, allow the dough to warm before rolling out.
  • When the dough is rolled out and in the pie plate keep it cool. I return it to the fridge whenever I am not working with it.

Happy baking, and, stay tuned for a Milk & Honey giveaway here next month!

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