This is a take on classic pumpkin pie using butternut squash instead. I prefer the taste and texture of butternut squash over pumpkin. It’s simple to make with an easy press-in nut and date crust. This pie is refined sugar-free, gluten-free, and vegan. Enjoy it (guilt-free!) during the autumn months and at holiday gatherings served with a dollop of coconut whipped cream or real whipped cream on top.
MAKES ONE 9 ½-INCH PIE
Use organic ingredients when possible
2 ¼ cups pecans (substitute with almonds or walnuts if preferred)
½ cup pitted Medjool dates
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp + ½ tsp virgin coconut oil (½ tsp for greasing)
2 cups butternut squash purée* (substitute with pumpkin or cooked sweet potatoes if preferred)
½ cup full-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup dark or amber maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 ½ tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch
Make the crust. Grease a pie pan with ½ tsp of the virgin coconut oil and set aside. Chop up the dates into pieces and add to a food processor. Add all of the remaining crust ingredients to the food processor. Pulse a number of times until the pecans are ground into small crumbs and everything starts sticking together. Press the dough into the pie pan using the bottom of a metal measuring cup to press and smooth into the pan. The crust should come up the sides of the pan.
Place the pie pan in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the filling. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Wipe down the food processor bowl, then add all of the filling ingredients to it. Blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides as needed (or whisk/beat in a mixing bowl).
Pour the filling into the piecrust and even the top with a rubber spatula or spoon.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes. The crust should be light golden brown and the filling should be a bit jiggly with some cracks on top. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Serve chilled or at room temperature with a dollop of coconut whipped cream or real whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.
*NOTE: To make your own squash purée (superior taste vs. the canned stuff – trust!), heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the butternut squash (or pie pumpkin) in half lengthwise (stem to base). Remove the seeds and pulp. Cover the cut side of each half with foil. Place on a baking sheet flesh side up and bake until soft, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, peel or scrape out the squash meat from the shell and purée in a food processor or blender.
For this recipe you will only need 2 cups of purée, so any leftovers can be stored in a freezer bag and kept in the freezer (for the next pie!).