Oh sweet buttercup, let me wax poetic about your luscious ways. This squash was born to be an autumn star. Heirloom buttercups are naturally high in sugars, with thick dry bright orange flesh, making them my favorite winter squash for anything and everything...roasted with maple syrup, added to soups, filling for ravioli (I'm still working on that recipe peeps) and, arguably its best application, as the foundation of the best dang pumpkin pie eva (she snaps her fingers).
Let me just add that I hold this recipe dear to me as it took many years to perfect. The hubs is a little reluctant to set it free, as it is a favorite of his, but like all good things in this life it cannot be held back and is ready to spread it wings and fly (weird R. Kelly reference there, sorry).
So, I urge you to locate, buy and store lots of these heirloom squashes (they keep well) so you can make this and other deliciousness with them all winter long. The buttercup is the dark green squash that looks like it is birthing another paler green squash. I picked up some super bright orange beauties too at the local farm, but they are still not as tasty as the buttercup. That said, this recipe will work for nearly any pumpkin-like squash if you can't source buttercups.
Some notes on this pumpkin pie...
It is better the following day, if you can fit it in your fridge, even better. This allows the pie to set. The amount of liquids you add will depend on the moisture content of the squash, which can vary greatly from squash to squash. Start with the quantities listed in the recipe and then add a little more at a time if needed. The filling should be thick and stick to the spatula. Roast the squash cut side up to let the moisture evaporate from the flesh-the drier the squash, the better. The crust, squash purée and Irish moss can be made the day before you make the pie. This is a time intensive recipe. See recipe after the jump...
makes 1 pie
Buttercup Squash Purée
1 buttercup squash (you will need 2 cups of puréed squash for this pie recipe)
Cut squash in halve horizontally, remove seeds and roast cut side up on a sheet pan in a preheated 425˚F oven for 30-40 minutes, until fork tender. Scoop out flesh and purée in a food processor until smooth. You will need 2 cups of purée for this recipe. Use the remaining squash purée in soups or as a filling for ravioli or add seasonings as serve a side dish.
0.5 oz Irish moss (you can purchase it here)
water for soaking
1 1/2 Cups water
Place Irish moss in a quart sized mason jar and fill with water. Soak for 1 hour. Rinse Irish moss thoroughly to remove salt. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan and add Irish moss. Lower temp to medium heat and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain mixture though a sieve into a bowl and then store refrigerated in a glass jar for up to 3 days.
Gingersnap Pie Crust-see recipe in last post.
2 tsp flax meal (golden preferred)
1/2 Cup unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice
2 cups buttercup squash purée
1/2 cup prepared Irish moss
1 Cup maple syrup
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Have pie crust prepared in pie plate. In large mixing bowl whisk together flax meal and milk until frothy and let sit while you gather and assemble other ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients to the flax-milk mixture and whisk everything until thoroughly incorporated. Mixture should be smooth, thick and stick to the spatula. If mixture is too thick (is not easy to whisk) add a Tablespoon at a time of each the milk and Irish moss, whisking in until the right consistency is reached. Pour filling into prepared crust, smooth with spatula and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove pie from oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature before attempting to cut into the pie. The pie needs time to set up and become firm enough to slice. It is best left overnight in the fridge to set up and eaten the following day.