Peg Cole is a self-taught cook who shares favorite recipes and methods of cooking and baking.
Easy for the Beginning Baker
Even if you never baked a pie in your life, this recipe is a great place to start. In just a few minutes, you can put this recipe together and have it baking in the oven. The best part is that there's no crust to make.
You'll need a nine-inch pie dish and a few basic ingredients from the pantry to get started. The five main ingredients include:
- Canned or frozen cooked butternut squash
- Evaporated milk
- Fresh eggs
- Granulated sugar
- Stick of margarine or butter. Add a spoonful of flour and a dash of cinnamon for flavor, and you're almost there.
If you have an electric mixer, it saves some effort, but the pie will come out just fine if you use a whisk or a hand beater to mix the ingredients together.
Once you've made this easy pie, you'll want to make it again and again. That spicy aroma of the pie baking in your oven will bring curious family members into the kitchen to see what's cooking. Come try this nutritious dessert that even your kids will love. A bit like spicy custard, they won't even know it is a vegetable unless you tell them.
- 9-inch pie dish (glass or metal)
- Mixing bowl (medium)
- Measuring spoons
- Electric or hand mixer
- 2 cups baked butternut squash, or a 15 oz. can or a 10 oz package of frozen
- 1 (13-ounce) can evaporated milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick / 4 ounces butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dash each of salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (Crisco Solid or Pam)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Grease a 9-inch pie dish with a thin coating of vegetable shortening or non-stick spray.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cut the butter into small pieces and let it soften to room temperature.
- Mix the sugar and softened butter together until it's creamy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg is added.
- Mix a tablespoon of flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and blend these into the egg mixture.
- Stir in the cooked squash using either canned, frozen (left in the refrigerator overnight to thaw) or 2 cups of cooled, baked squash.
- Add the vanilla extract.
- Slowly stir in the evaporated milk. The mixture will be watery with loose, floating bits of butter after it is poured into the baking dish.
- Bake for 1 hour.
To use fresh-baked squash, substitute two (2) cups for the canned or frozen squash. The link takes you to my article on how to bake fresh butternut squash.
I've been making this pie since the seventies using canned squash. Recently I tried using fresh-baked and even frozen squash. The pie comes out delicious whether using canned, frozen, or fresh squash.
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My six-year-old often asked me the same question during dinner until it became like a ritual.
"Will you be passing out dessert tonight, Mommy?" My answer was always the same.
"Only if you eat your vegetables." He would laugh and shovel in the rest of whatever was on his plate. He loved this nutritious pie and eagerly asked for seconds.
When you pour the mixture into a greased nine (9) inch glass or metal pie dish it will be watery and liquid. Don't worry, it will solidify during the baking process. The butter and flour are what forms a nice top crust.
Carefully remove the pie from the oven and cool on a wire rack before serving. The pie starts out looking rather puffy, but as it cools, it settles down to look more like pumpkin pie.
Cut the cooled pie into eight (8) slices and add a dash of whipped cream or Cool Whip topping before serving.
The pie may be served either warm or cold.
Store any leftover pie in the refrigerator and use it within seven days.
I hope you'll give this recipe a try. You may be surprised at the creamy texture and subtle difference between this and standard holiday pies.
Tips for Successful Pie Baking
- Be sure the oven is fully up to temperature before putting the pie in to bake.
- Don't open the oven door during the first hour of baking time. This drops the temperature in the oven and may cause your baked goods to fall with the change of temperature.
© 2011 Peg Cole