autumn Squash Pie

Recipe: Spiced Squash Pie – Autumn Eats

27-10-2017

Autumn eats…. Spiced Squash Pie

Colourful. Sculptural. Textural. Aesthetically pleasing to the eye, wonderfully tactile and above all satisfying to the belly! It’s squash and pumpkin season and farmers markets are in abundance at the moment, so take advantage of these beautiful veg all winter long.

Squash are nutritional powerhouses…An anti inflammatory food and a great source of fibre and complex carbs, vitamins a, c, b2 and b6, plus manganese, copper, potassium and antioxidants in the form of beta carotene.
Roast, sauté or mash the flesh. Add to curries, stews, soups, breads and cakes. Eat the skins and roast the seeds. Zero waste!

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This grain free recipe is a variation on pumpkin pie, with warming spices and coconut milk. It’s also low in refined sugar (especially if you keep the honey content low) and can be made dairy free by replacing the butter with coconut oil.
Perfect for dessert or a mid afternoon pick me up. I’ve even been known to eat it for breakfast!

The pie works best using orange fleshed winter squash varieties that have a sweet, dense texture, resembling fluffy chestnut or sweet potato when cooked. I used Crown Prince (the larger pale green skinned one) but Kabocha (the smaller sized bright orange ones) would work just as well.

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I like to use an deep oblong enamel pie dish (28cm L x 21cm W x 6cm D) but you can also use a 22-23cm round or square tin/ pie dish, just make sure it has high sides. Line with baking parchment first.

Preheat your oven at 175C (fan)

Ingredients

Base:
200g ground almonds (ground walnuts or pecans would also be great)
60g butter or coconut oil melted
1 tsp cinnamon

Filling:
250g raw squash – chopped into roughly 1” chunks (wash well but leave skin on for extra fibre)
400g tin of organic coconut milk
2 medium free range eggs
1-2 tbsp honey (optional)
zest of an unwaxed lemon and the juice of half
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp natural vanilla extract / powder
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp turmeric
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch of grated nutmeg
¼ tsp fine pink Himalayan or sea salt

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Method

Base:
Measure out the ground nuts and cinnamon and mix well. Melt the butter/ coconut oil and stir into the nut mixture. Then using your fingertips, rub the fat into the the ground nuts – just like you were making a crumble topping. Transfer to your lined pie tin/ dish and then press down really well until flat – use your knuckles! Prick with a fork. Bake this for approx 10-15 mins until just turning golden. Then leave to cool.

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Filling:
Steam or microwave your squash until just cooked – it should keep it’s shape but crush easily with a fork. No need to add water whilst cooking it.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and leave to cool for a few minutes.
Add your spices, salt, coconut milk, lemon zest and juice and the honey and blend well using a hand blender. Add your eggs and blend again until bubbly.

Pour over your pre baked base and pop back into the oven for 30-45 mins. Keep an eye on it, the top should be golden brown and cracked but the middle should still have a slight wobble. It’ll set as it cools.

Leave to cool for a while in the tin before sliding off the lining paper and onto a plate. Cut into slices and serve warm or cold with Greek yoghurt, creme fraiche, coconut yoghurt, or if you want to be all indulgent…vanilla ice cream. Drizzle on a little extra honey if you wish.

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