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Brown Sugar Hubbard Squash Pie

This is the well-spiced Thanksgiving pie that Mrs. Hubbard liked so well and that demoted humpty-pumpkin at our house. It is heartier and more flavorful than canned pumpkin, but equally creamy.

Master recipe for roasted squash puree

2 to 21/2 pound Hubbard or butternut squash, to yield 2 cups puree (extra can be frozen)
3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice

Put seeded, unpeeled Hubbard cut into chunks (or unpeeled butternuts halved lengthwise) on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with a sheet of foil. Rub the flesh with butter, orange juice and maple syrup or brown sugar, heated together till butter melts. Flip over and roast at 400 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, until the skin is blistered and browned and the flesh is tender. Lift squash with tongs and poke with a paring knife to check. When cool, the pulp is easily scraped from the Hubbard skin (or scooped out of the butternut halves).

For the custard

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the pie:

1 unbaked 9-inch pastry crust (any favorite recipe using unsalted butter).

Refrigerate dough 1 hour before rolling. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and crimp and shape the edges. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before filling.

To roast the squash, see accompanying master recipe. Put 2 cups of the cooled squash in a food processor and whirl until smooth. Lower oven to 375 degrees. Set rack on lowest position. Combine the puree with the brown sugar, eggs, cream, spices and salt and whisk until smooth. Pour into the pie shell and bake until the custard is puffed up but still has a small wet spot in the middle, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool. Serves 8.

Ris Lacoste, Taunton's Fine Cooking

Thursday, October 26, 2000

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