Butternut Squash = The Best Pumpkin Pie Filling Ever!
I’ve lived in Austria for about 26 years. There is not much in the way of food that I have pined for except maybe pumpkin pie. I had never made one while living in the U.S. and don’t think I had ever attempted a pie crust from scratch. Most Americans I have met rely on canned pumpkin for the filling. What results is a grayish mushy custard that doesn’t even look like pumpkin at all and is often runny.
Well, there’s no canned pumpkin here and that is, believe it or not, a very good thing. What we do have and readily available in the Fall is butternut squash. There is nothing better than butternut squash for making “pumpkin” pie. The texture and color are perfect. Plus, they are very easy to prepare. If you want enough squash for more than one pie, buy a large one or several smaller ones. I have sometimes been able to use one butternut squash for 3-4 pies! You will need 2 cup containers and a freezer for the squash that is leftover.
Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise in half. Take a large spoon and scoop out the seeds. Place the 2 halves face down on a rimmed baking sheet or in a 9×13 roasting pan. Roast the squash for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven, let the squash cool completely. Remove the skin (it will literally slide off) put the cooked squash in a bowl and purée it. Use a food processor, a blender, or with a stick blender. I use a stick blender. Blend until the “pumpkin” is smooth.
You will need 2 level cups for your pie filling. Take what is leftover and put it in freezer bags or containers that can hold 2 Cups of squash and freeze for use later in the year or for your next holiday pie.
The color and texture alone are worth the effort and are far superior to the pumpkin you can buy in a can.