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healthy ANDI licious

Dairy-Free Spiced Butternut Squash Pie October 9, 2011

Butternut just keeps getting better & better.

Dairy-Free Spiced Butternut Squash Pie
With Ginger Snap & Crisp Wheat Crust

So I’ve  found a yet another use for the wonderful butternut squash I’ve been getting from the farmer’s market this season: PIE. I adore the smell and taste of spiced pumpkin pie and have made it for Thanksgiving every year but I haven’t ever tried it with other squash. I was determined to make my own butternut squash pie from scratch for the first time last week so that I could bring some with me to NYC as a gift. As an added culinary challenge,  this pie needed to be dairy-free. Most recipes use sweetened condensed milk so I wondered whether the flavor would suffer at all from this omission.  I found that some recipes suggested replacing the milk with vanilla soy milk or coconut milk. Coconut milk tends to be the creamiest of  milk alternatives so I opted for this replacement. Banking on the natural sweetness of the cooked squash, I cut the sugar added to only about 1/3 of what the recipes suggested. Using a combo of Light Coconut Milk (less fat than the original) along with a splash of almond milk, vamping up the cinnamon and throwing in a tbsp of flaxseed powder -I just couldn’t help “healthifying” the recipe. Having used much less added sugar & fat than recipes suggest, I was a bit nervous when I took the first bite.  I MISSED NOTHING. The First Bite

Aromatic cinnamon & nutmeg mixed perfectly with the sweet squash complemented deliciously by the snappy ginger crust. This pie was a true slice of heaven. Try it for yourself!

Ingredients
Makes TWO pies. This pie is so good, you’re going to want the extra one.

2 whole butternut squashes (I used pretty large ones, they were about 3lbs each)
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp fresh or frozen ginger (Optional. Note: Powdered ginger will not taste the same. If us use it, don’t use more than 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp salt
5 cage-free eggs
1/2 cup reduced-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (You can use all almond or all coconut if you prefer)
1 tsp vanilla extract (Optional. I didn’t have any and my pies did not miss it. If it’s not the real stuff, don’t bother)

Ginger Snap Crust Blended with Olive Oil & Whole Wheat Flour

The Crust
Makes 2 crusts

– 1 bag 365 brand (Whole Foods)  Ginger Snaps (or any without dairy- some brands are made with butter)
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-Dash of nutmeg
-3 tbsp olive or canola oil
-4 tbsp whole wheat flour

Methods

Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Wash squash and slice into halves and quarters and place on baking pan with a splash of water. Cover with tin foil and bake for about 1 hour until tender. While, the squash is baking, prepare the crust. Put the dry ingredients for the crust together in a food processor (or blender) and blend until the become a pretty uniform powder. Add the oil and blend. Smoothly pat the crust in place in your pie pans.

When squash has cooked, put the crust in the oven (same temp) to bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pans after 10 minutes and pop them in the freezer to cool.

Meanwhile, time to make the filling. Using a spoon or fork scrape out all of the flesh of the squash into your food processor or blender. Save the seeds in a container to roast them later for a great snack. You will probably need to blend in batches if you are making a large batch. It doesn’t matter how much of the other ingredients you put into each batch because you will mix them all together in a large bowl once blended. Just make sure that all of the ingredients get blended into the mix.

Take your fully-cooled pie crusts out of the freezer and pour in the filling. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Place pies in the oven and bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes. Remove baked pies and allow to cool (preferably by a cool open window) for 2-3 hours. Serve and enjoy!

Note: If you’re a busy person who doesn’t have time to spend on this rather time-consuming recipe but love the pie, just cut a few slices and put them in a sealed container in the freezer. Take out a slice and de-thaw throughout the next couple of weeks when the craving strikes.

Loaded with vitamin A, and low in added sugars and fats, this pie is surprisingly healthy for all of its flavor!

To create this recipe I used ideas from these three recipes and then added my own adjustments. Recipe 1, recipe 2, recipe 3. I was also inspired by Chanie Backman’s absolutely incredible butternut squash pie from Tufts Chabad.  I knew Chanie’s pies were dairy-free and that’s how I knew it cold be done.

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