Butternut Squash Pie

Butternut Squash Pie
The latest cover of Martha Stewart Living features a ‘pie’ composed of individual slices of thanksgiving pies. How wonderful would it be to bake one thanksgiving pie that would please everyone?

I’ve made exactly two pumpkin pies in the past two years. The first was a buttermilk pumpkin pie from Nick Malgieri’s The Modern Baker. While I didn’t love it, I like to say it’s the pie won me a husband. I had just served two slices to visiting friends when my ride to a swing dance showed up unexpectedly early. In a panic, I abandoned my friends in my apartment and told them i’d retrieve the keys from them later. At the end of the night, I offered a leftover piece to the man who’d eventually ask me to marry him. Less than a week later, we went on our first date.

A year later, we were baking the second pie together for our first thanksgiving in Alabama. It was Cook’s Illustrated’s pumpkin pie, which incorporates candied yams for better texture. The pie was slightly undercooked and dotted with chunks of unpureed yam, but I still remember it fondly.

Like those two pies, this butternut squash pie is linked to fond memories. It’s a pie I shared with neighbors and coworkers. It’s a recipe that perpetually made more filling than the crust would hold. It hasn’t marked particularly momentous occasions, but it’s my favorite. This recipe is definitely a keeper, and it’s my recommendation for your thanksgiving table.
Continue reading Butternut Squash Pie

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Chocolate Pecan Pie
I have a love/hate relationship with pecan pie. I love the crunchy, sugar crusted pecans on top. In fact, I love them so much i’ll pick them off my piece, one by one. The problem lies between the crunchy topping and the bottom crust. It’s the sugary, gelatinous gloop that I can’t stand.

Naturally, I gravitate towards pecan pie recipes that incorporate more than the standard corn syrup, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. I look for sweeteners like golden syrup, honey, or raw sugar, and flavors like alcohol, chocolate, or spices. My go-to favorite has been Richard Sax’s recipe from Classic Home Desserts. Another way to avoid the filling is to make a variation like pecan bars or pecan tassies. If you’re not wedded to pecans, you can also try a caramel+nut pie, like this honey caramel walnut tart.

Criticisms aside, this pie was pretty good. It ranked high on the ‘speed of coworker consumption’ scale. The filling rather looked liked melted chocolate- it even oozed a bit when I cut into it. Note that this isn’t a pecan pie with chocolate chunks- it’s a pecan pie with melted chocolate mixed into the filling.
Continue reading Chocolate Pecan Pie