Winter Squash and Honey Pie

Our CSA box contained a very special surprise - a jar of local honey from Kimes Apiary.  Something so precious deserved to be used in a noteworthy way, so I waited and held out for a memorable dish. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait too long. Our next CSA box included some beautiful butternut squashes and when I saw this recipe for Squash and Honey pie, it all clicked together.

The original recipe called for acorn squashes. Any winter squash would work, but make sure you drain the squash puree of any excess liquid. You can prepare the squash puree in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

According to the CSA newsletter, it's quite likely the same bees who made the honey also pollinated the butternut squashes! Thank you industrious bees for making this delicious pie possible!

Winter Squash and Honey Pie
Adapted from A La Mode by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
Makes one 9" pie

To prepare squash puree, cut off the tip of the stem end from:
1 or 2 butternut squashes (total of 2.5 pounds)

Next cut the butternut squash in half where the neck and bulb meet. Cut the neck and bulb in half lengthwise. With an ice cream scoop, remove seeds in the bulb halves. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet with canola oil, then place the squash pieces cut side down on sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft and tender, about 45 - 60 minutes. Let cool until you're able to handle, then scoop out flesh and discard the skin. You can puree the flesh in a food processor or with a stick blender. This can be done 1-2 days in advance. Refrigerate puree in an airtight container until ready to use.

Prepare your favorite pie crust. Roll out and set in a 9" pie pan. Trim edges leaving a 1/2" overhang. Fold under and press with a fork tine or crimp, flute as desired. Place in refrigerator while you prepare filling.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place oven rack in center of oven.

In a large mixing bowl, beat until smooth, about two minutes:
1 large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks OR 2 large eggs, room temperature
6 tablespoons granulated white sugar (75g)
1/4 cup honey (84g)

Beat in until smooth:
2 cups butternut squash puree (drain of any excess liquid if necessary)
1 cup whole or low-fat milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pour filling into prepared crust. Bake pie until crust is lightly browned and filling is set with just the slightest jiggle in the center when rim of the plate is tapped, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool the pie on a wire rack for at least 1 1/2 hours before slicing. Store tightly sealed in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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