This uncommon squash pie is a custard-like dessert pie made with cooked summer squash, eggs, and butter. It's a sweet pie with an unexpected main ingredient.
Make the homemade crust or use a frozen or purchased refrigerated pie crust for the recipe to save time. If you use a purchased crust, partially bake the crust following the package directions.
- For the Pastry:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter (well-chilled)
- 4 tablespoons shortening (well-chilled)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water (or enough to hold the ingredients together)
- For the Squash Filling:
- 5 medium summer squash (2 1/2 to 3 cups mashed)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more, to taste)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Optional: grated nutmeg
Homemade Pie Crust
In a food processor, pulse the 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of sugar to blend. Add the pieces of cold butter and shortening and pulse in four 2-second bursts, or until the mixture is blended but there are still pieces of fat the size of small peas.
Add 3 tablespoons of ice water in a steady stream while the processor runs. Turn it off and continue adding small amounts of ice water while pulsing, until the dough forms large clumps and holds together when squeezed.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and lightly work it to make a cohesive dough. Don't overwork the dough. Pat it into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the disk for about 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 400 F.
On a floured surface, roll the chilled dough out to a circle about 2 inches larger in diameter than the pie plate. Fit the dough into the pie plate. Trim and flute as desired.
Fit a sheet of foil over the bottom and sides of the crust and fill it with pie weights or dry beans.
Bake the lined crust with the weights for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F.
Remove the weights and foil and return the crust to the oven. Bake for about 8 minutes longer. Remove the crust to a rack and set aside.
Rinse the squash; pat dry. Slice the squash into 1/4-inch slices.
Fill a large saucepan with about 2 inches of water; bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water along with the sliced squash. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pan; cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Drain the squash.
Transfer the drained squash to the empty saucepan or to a bowl and mash. Carefully drain off any excess water. For very smooth filling, process the squash in a blender or food processor.
Pour the squash mixture into the baked pie shell and place it on a baking sheet. (If you happen to have some leftover filling, put it in buttered ramekins and bake it alongside the pie. If desired, lightly sprinkle grated nutmeg over the filling.
Bake the pie at 375 F for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the filling is set and firm. When the crust is browned, place a pie shield over the edge to avoid over-browning.
For lemon flavor, omit the vanilla extract and add 1 tablespoon of lemon extract along with the finely grated zest of a lemon.