As I open my cupboard that holds all my cookbooks, I grab a copy of the one I wrote , stained and tattered, filled with not only recipes, but memories too.
Some might think I’d never have to look up a recipe again, having made each of them countless times while testing, but I do. I could probably get by, but reading my own writing, and cooking from something in my hands is one of the reasons I think we still buy cookbooks even in a digital age. It’s the experience and the feeling.
And although pumpkin is lovely, I’m glad to see more people of replacing it with squash in autumn treats like pie.
Not only do I think the taste is richer and less vegetal, but because squash has a lower water content, the texture is creamier.
Adapted from the Delicata Pie in my cookbook, my favorite baking recipe of them all, this butternut squash pie is absolutely delicious. Delicata squash has a flavor like sweet potatoes and macadamia nuts, buttery and rich, so that’s my first choice to use. As the pie bakes, it takes on a deep caramel color, rich and creamy, with brown sugar notes that make merry with warm spices.
But in case you can’t find delicata squash, roasted butternut squash works great in this pie too!
The salty-sweet oat crust is foolproof, and naturally gluten-free to boat. It’s easy to make and everyone loves it! If you prefer a traditional pie crust, you can use the crust recipe in this Gluten-Free Cherry Pie.
You’ll simply pulse together oats, almond flour, and some oat flour, then bind it together with coconut oil (or butter.)
Coconut oil can do magical things, and I found out that “cutting it into” the oat mixture just like I did with butter worked perfectly. You start with it at soft, scoopable stage and use your hands to massage it into ingredients. You don’t notice the coconut flavor, and it holds together so well. You can even pick up a slice and eat it on the go without it falling apart – trust me, I tried it. It’s how this gluten free apple tart is made, too.
Making the filling dairy-free was relatively easy, swapping almond milk for regular, but decreased the amount originally called for because it is more water-based.
And although I prefer roasting delicata squash to make the puree, I realize we’re all human. There are days when we just don’t have time, the energy, or maybe even the access to delicata squash as called for in my original recipe.
With that in mind, I experimented with using organic, canned butternut squash puree, and the result was a win. The flavor is a little lighter than the deepness you get from roasted squash puree, but truly the difference was minimal. I’ve made it using kabocha squash too with much success.
So from my oven to yours, I’m wishing you a happy winter squash season, and hoping that maybe this Winter Squash Pie makes into your harvest party, or perhaps Thanksgiving table.
You won’t miss the pumpkin, dairy, or gluten – I’m sure of it. ☺