Thursday, November 4, 2010

oh render thanks

A few years ago I was watching Martha Stewart, and one of the audience members asked a question about pets ruining furniture, and Martha said she'd rather have animals than nice furniture, and she said it all sniffy-like, like the lady was a total buzzkill for caring about her furniture so much. Doesn't that seem like a lie to you? I love Martha, but she is a proven neat freak. I'm a proven slob, and when I had to search and destroy ANOTHER puddle of Skiver's pee this morning I was royally pissed. He's going to ruin our cowhide and wool rug! So I call shenanigans on Martha.

Since many (Jill) of you want the recipe for my grandma's squash pie, I will give it to you. But you have to promise to do it the right way--none of this baking-in-the-crust nonsense. To blind bake, if you are curious, means to bake the pie crust in the tin with no filling. Detailed instructions can be found here. I would add to their instructions this advice: don't stretch the dough when you're draping it into the pan. It shrinks as it cooks, and if you've stretched it, then your crust will end up smaller than the pan and will be gross and stupid. I know from experience. So be generous with your dough.

Squash Pie
(makes 1 pie)

Whisk in a large bowl:
3 eggs

Whisk thoroughly into eggs:
2 C cooked squash or canned pumpkin*
1 1/2 C heavy cream
3/4 C sucanat or brown sugar
1 T honey or liquid sugar of your choice
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground ginger or 1-2 T of fresh grated ginger
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t allspice
1/2 t salt

The spices are all rough estimates, of course. Use as many as you want. Pour into a pan and cook at 375* for 1 1/2 hours or until it is the desired consistency. Spoon the cooled filling into a baked pie crust, top with whipped cream and serve.

*My grandma uses Blue Hubbard squash, always has, always will, but my mom usually uses canned pumpkin. My grandpa says he can tell the difference, but he is full of it, according to the blind taste test we did many years ago. I use Blue Hubbard myself, because it's a delicious eatin' squash and it's huge, so I always have some left over. But the other day I used a Rouge Vif d'Etampes pumpkin, and it's just as good.

Pie Crust
(makes 2 single crust pies or 1 double crust)

2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t coarse salt
1/2 C chilled lard
3/4 C chilled butter (1 1/2 sticks)
ice water

Combine dry ingredients, then cut in fat until there are a range of pieces from crumbs to small peas in size. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture holds together when pinched. Do not overwork the dough. When the dough holds together, shape it into two equal balls and flatten each ball into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

I love this recipe. The butter makes the dough extremely easy to work with (and not as easy to overwork), and the lard makes it flaky.


Jill said...

Thanks!!! I am excited to try it!