The ultimate Halloween treat: The Butter ‘nut nut’ pie
If squirrels ate pies, they’d eat this one. Riffing on the classic American pumpkin pie, we’ve used butternut squash instead. It works brilliantly and, frankly, is a lot less hassle to deal with. The maple nut topping is a triumph.
Don’t forget to make it the Pieminister way by using free range eggs and visit your local grocer for the rest of your ingredients if you can.
Butter ‘nut nut’ pie – Serves 6
500g butternut squash (peeled weight), diced
200ml double cream
2 free-range eggs
80g light soft brown sugar
1 tsp grated nutmeg
For the topping
100g blanched almonds
100g skinned hazelnuts
100g pecan nuts
40g pumpkin seeds
4 tbsp maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling
330g of shortcrust pastry:
200g plain flour
a pinch of salt
100g butter, cut into small cubes
2tps of cold water
Make your shortcrust pastry first:
Sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt. Add the cubes of butter and rub then into the four with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Gradually stir in enough cold water to make a pliable but fairly firm dough. Knead lightly for 30 seconds or so until smooth, then wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes before use.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick and use to line a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin, trimming off the excess pastry. Cover with baking parchment, fill with baking beans or rice and bake blind for 15–20 minutes, until the pastry is cooked and lightly coloured. Remove from the oven, take out the paper and beans or rice and leave to cool.
Cook the butternut squash in a large pan of boiling water until tender to the point of a knife. Drain thoroughly.
Transfer to a blender or food processor, add the cream, eggs, sugar and nutmeg and blitz until smooth. Leave to cool.
For the topping, pulse the nuts in a food processor until roughly crumbled. Tip into a bowl and stir in the pumpkin seeds and maple syrup. Set aside.
Pour the butternut purée into the pastry case and bake at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for about 20 minutes, until the filling is just firm to the touch. Sprinkle over the nuts and return the pie to the oven for about 10 minutes, until the topping is golden brown. Drizzle with extra maple syrup. Serve warm with ice cream or at room temperature.