A new and “improved” food lifestyle seems to pop up every morning. At the rate we’re at now, I’m saying goodbye to vegetarianism as an alternative diet and hello to clean eating, raw diets, veganism, gluten-free diets, paleo, juice fasting, lacto vegetarianism, case-in free diet, locavorism, etc. A whole pool of evidence, both pros and cons, sit behind each of these lifestyles, luring or deterring joiners. As a cook, these fads function as a limiting tool for much of what I like to make: sweets. A cake with no flour? A brownie mix with no egg? A pie with no crust? Yes, those are the confines of some of the above-mentioned lifestyles, and while I lean towards a food regimen that consumes anything, I’m willing to dabble in someone else’s food restrictions.
I stepped, again, into the world of gluten-free baking with this recipe, a place where I have failed so many times before. The lack of flour or substitute flours that many gluten-free recipes boast tend to mix up the balance of a typical dessert, creating end products that are too eggy in many cases.
This recipe steers away from flour all together, a canny movie on author Emiko Davies’ part. Lacking the traditional crust, this butternut squash pie allows the pie filling to take center stage. If you’re a fan of pumpkin pie, this butternut squash variety will make you question your allegiances.
As cousins in the gourd family, when mixed with butter and cinnamon, pumpkin and butternut squash pie filling become indistinguishable, giving way to torpedo spoons that rake and consume this dessert in minutes. Topped with powdered sugar for flavor and crunchy sliced almonds, this pie is a true trophy of gluten-free baking. Butternut Squash Pie
Adapted from Emiko Davies, Food52
Large cutting knife
Food processer (optional)
9-inch pie dish
2 lbs butternut squash
1 pint milk
3 eggs, beaten
3 ½ oz soft light brown sugar
2 tbsps melted butter, plus extra for greasing
3 ½ oz almond meal
2 tsps ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
handful of sliced almonds
powdered sugar, for decoration
whipped cream (optional)
- Remove the seeds and skin of the squash and chop into inch-sized cubes. This link offers a great tutorial for how to do that: How to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash.
- Place squash in saucepan with the milk. Simmer about 25 to 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and leave squash in a colander or sieve to drain and evaporate as much as possible until cool. Then transfer to a bowl and mash or purée the squash. I suggest using a food processer if you have one.
- In a separate bowl, beat eggs together with sugar, butter, almond meal, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Stir through the cooled squash/pumpkin to combine well.
- Pour the mixture into a greased 9-inch (23 centimeter) pie dish. Smooth over the top to sprinkle with the sliced almonds.
- Bake at 350º F (180° C) for 45 minutes or until golden on top and set. The sides will shrink away slightly. When cool, dust generously with powdered sugar and serve. Whipped cream is another smart topping.