Our CSA co-op just ended for the season and the last several deliveries have included a wide array of winter squash, from delicata to pumpkins. I have been using squash in everything, including pie, and found this amazingly delicious recipe a couple weeks ago, courtesy of the Firehook Bakery & Coffee House in Washington, DC. It works equally well with either acorn or spaghetti squash, and will leave you and your guests begging for more.
SODIUM CONTENT: 35.3 mg per serving
2 c. pastry flour (or 3/4 c. all-purpose flour mixed with 1 1/4 c. cake flour)
3/4 c. ( 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 T. powdered sugar
2 acorn squash or 2 sm/med spaghetti squash (3 lbs.)
1 1/4 c. brown sugar
4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 t. ground ginger
3 med/lg ripe pears (1 1/2 lb.)
1 1/2 T. sugar
2 t. ground cinnamon
First make the dough. In a food processor, combine 1 cup of the flour, the butter, egg, and sugar. Pulse 10 to 15 times, or until the mixture is a fairly smooth paste. Add the remaining 1 cup flour and pulse until the dough comes together. Do not overwork. Form the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 13-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate and fit it against the bottom and sides without stretching. Trim the overhanging dough to 1/2 inch, fold it under and crimp decoratively. Using a fork, prick the bottom and sides of the pie shell all over. Freeze the pie shell until firm, 10 to 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the pie shell for 10 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden around the edges. Transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature. Leave the oven on at 400 degrees.
To make the filling, halve each squash and, using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds. Place the squash, cut sides up, in a large baking dish (or two, if necessary). Pour 1/2 inch of water into the dish. Place 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of the butter in each squash cavity. Cover the dish with foil and bake the squash for 45 minutes, or until it is soft when pricked with a fork. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes.
Leave the oven on at 400 degrees.
Using a spoon, scoop the squash flesh into a food processor, along with any cooking juices. Puree until smooth. Add the remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar and the ginger. Pulse several times to mix. Remove the food processor cover and let the puree cool for about 10 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, pulsing until incorporated between each addition.
Using a small sharp knife, peel, quarter and core the pears. Slice them lengthwise 1/8 inch thick. Arrange the pear slices in the bottom of the cooled pie shell. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the pears. Gently pour the squash filling over the pears and smooth surface with spatula.
Place the pie on the lower rack of the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees, keep pie on the lower rack and continuing baking 40 to 50 minutes longer, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is just set. (The center of the filling will continue to cook after the pie is removed from the oven). Remove from oven and transfer to a rack to cool completely before serving.
This is one of the few pies that are better served cold than warm. Top with whipped cream if desired.