I’m a pie person. Like, I would’ve rather done a wedding pie instead of a wedding cake kinda person.
And there are times of year I just crave pie. In November, I beg my mom to make my great-grandmother’s pumpkin pie recipe. We eat until we’re stuffed and then scarf the rest down with whipped cream the next morning.
In August, I dream about blueberry pie – the kind my grandmother used to make when we’d spend a week in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We’d pick fresh blueberries along the dunes of the Cape, and come back sun-kissed and exhausted. She’d make the blueberries sing in a homemade crust and a sweet filling.
Sometimes, the inspiration for a great pie comes down to what’s fresh in that season or what you’ve got in that moment.
And in this moment, a few nights ago, I found myself staring down a large container of organic pureed sweet potatoes. That the lot had taken me the better part of an afternoon to peel, roast and puree made no difference to my baby. She’d taken one bite and “Pffhtwft,” decided that, though she’d happily eaten sweet potatoes before, she was having none of this.
That’s how I came to be left – on Pi Day – with a mound of mashed sweet potatoes, and a curious project. Sweet Potato Pie? I checked recipes but didn’t have enough of what any recipe called for. I did, however, have a frozen box of pureed butternut squash, and a can of pumpkin puree. Would sweet potatoes play nice in a pumpkin pie? Sure. But the squash? Nothing a little brown sugar couldn’t dress up.
After a little recipe tinkering, measuring and covering myself, and the kitchen in flour, I had it. A pie recipe that offers a boost from not one, but three different veggies.
And the crust? Usually, I’m a thaw-and-unroll-a-frozen-pie-crust-kind of gal, but a little digging afforded the best pie crust I’ve ever made, and one I’ll be making again and again. Thanks to Kelly Jaggers over at Evil Shenanigans and her all-butter pie crust from “Not Your Humble Pie.” It was a quick, straightforward recipe and delicious to boot! (Find her recipe here, along with a White Chocolate Fudge Pie recipe that sounds tasty too!)
Next time you need a pie, or need a little encouragement to eat your veggies, try my Sweet Squashed Pumpkin Pie. And don’t forget the Homemade Whipped Cream!
Sweet Squashed Pumpkin Pie
1 pie crust of your choice (but seriously, try Kelly Jagger’s above)
1 cup ground, canned pumpkin
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1 cup mashed butternut squash (defrost first if you’re using the frozen kind)
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons corn starch
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup whole milk
Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine your brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Add the water, eggs, diced butter, milk and vanilla. Mix well.
Add your pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potatoes, and mix until incorporated.
Arrange your crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Lay the pie dish inside a cookie sheet to catch any drips as it bakes. Pour the pie filling into the crust.
Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then drop the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for another 30-45 minutes. Start with 30 minutes on the timer and check the pie to see if it’s set before adding additional time.
Let it cool. Then give yourself credit for eating a veggie-laden pie by scooping a generous helping of whipped cream on the top! I mean, c’mon, you’re eating veggies, right?
Credit: Growing Sprouts