Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Summer Produce, Autumn Flavor!
Yesterday Jeff and I talked about how fun it would be to try to make a pumpkin pie using summer squash in place of the pumpkin. So today, that's what I did. This really is a neat idea - we are still having a bumper crop of crookneck yellow squash, and are looking for unique ways to use them. This pie allowed us to use up several squash, and have a taste of autumn at the same time!
This pie really did end up tasting delicious. It was slightly different from a real pumpkin pie - in color, texture, and flavor. But it was wonderful in its own right. So if you've got a lot of summer squash to use, and are in the mood for fall flavor, give this pie a try. You'll be glad you did.
Summer Squash Custard Pie (or Mock Pumpkin Pie)
Several yellow summer squash
Single pie crust, partially baked (see below)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or use 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, and 1/4 tsp. cloves)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed)
Cut up summer squash and place in saucepan. Add water, not quite covering the squash. Heat to boiling and cook until squash is tender. Drain. Place squash in blender and puree. If necessary, add water 1 tbsp. at a time. Add as little water as possible, because too much will change the texture of the pie. Allow squash to cool.
While squash is cooling, prepare your crust. Any regular pie crust recipe will work, or use frozen. Partially prebake crust to keep it from getting soggy: Line crust with a double thickness of foil. Heat oven to 425 and bake foil-lined crust for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 2-4 minutes until crust is just barely starting to brown. Press down any bubbles with a fork. Don't prick the crust, though; you don't want filling leaking through.
To make filling, lightly beat eggs in medium mixing bowl. Measure 1 1/2 cups pureed squash, and add to bowl along with remaining ingredients. Mix well, and pour into crust. To prevent spillage, place crust on oven rack and then pour or spoon in the filling. Place a large baking sheet on the rack under the pie to catch any spills that might occur while cooking.
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 350 and bake an additional 45 minutes, until butter knife inserted near center comes out clean. You can line the edges of the crust with foil for the first 30 to 45 minutes of baking time to prevent over-browning. I didn't, because I didn't really have an edge of crust to protect.
Let cool on wire rack two hours before slicing and serving. Pie can be kept at room temperature for 2-4 hours after this, but then should be covered and stored in refrigerator.
I really wanted to serve this with whipped cream or ice cream. But we don't have any at the moment. That's okay - this was good even without it!
See how nicely it held its shape? This pie was just beautiful.
I'm submitting this recipe to the I Love Baking blog event. Yum!