Friday, 4 May 2012

Pieminister: Butter ‘nut nut’ pie

One strand on this blog has me cooking recipes from the book Pieminister: a pie for all seasons (Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon, 2011). Although this variation on American pumpkin pie is in the autumn section of the book (page 154), we still have British-grown squashes from vegetable boxes in the veg rack (and the thicker skinned squashes do keep well).

I made the suggested half-quantity of shortcrust pastry, following the book (page 10; the all-butter Pieminister way). This was barely enough to line the shallow pie dish I was using, but once you taste the pie you realize you don't want to overdo the pastry on this one. The pastry is cooked 15-20 minutes before the filling is added.

The filling is made from boiled cubes of butternut squash blended with cream (200ml), a couple of eggs, soft brown sugar (80g), and some grated nutmeg. I used a butternut squash that was to hand and, not wanting any left, put in more than the amount suggested in the recipe. I kept all the other filling measurements as in the book; it worked fine. The filling gets layered onto the part-cooked pastry base and put back in the oven for about 20 minutes.

I made the topping using flaked almonds (100g), just a few hazelnuts, and walnuts (100g) instead of the suggested pecans. These were pulsed in a blender and mixed with maple syrup (4 tablespoons) and pumpkin seeds (40g). When this has been stirred together it is put over the butternut filling, which should have just set, and the pie returned to the oven for about another 10 minutes to roast the nutty topping.

I am glad I made the effort (i.e., crossed the road to the shop) to obtain the sunflower seeds. Not an ingredient I use much, but they work well on the topping here; the partly-ground nuts with the whole sunflower seeds giving a very satisfying texture. I did not feel I needed to drizzle on the suggested extra maple syrup.

This pie is filling. The book suggests that this recipe serves 6. It will keep our family of four going for at least three days as dessert (with the remaining cream, with yoghurt, with ice cream).

See also:
Pieminister: Homity Pie:

Pieminister: Courgette & chickpea filo pie:

The Pieminister book:

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