STEP UP YOUR PIE GAME THIS SEASON WITH MERINGUE TOPPED SWEET SQUASH PIE

Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with pumpkin pie when it’s done right.  There is good reason that it is served at nearly every holiday gathering.  However, change is good, and this is a great recipe for spicing up your pie relationship. This delicious recipe is guaranteed to be a hit at your next holiday gathering.  A creamy, silken layer of rich, sweet squash filling is delicately spiced and fills a buttery flaky crust.  The pie is well complimented by a pillowy topping of sweetened torched meringue that looks stunning with its beautifully browned peaks and swirls.

FOR THE PIE

•  2 cups cooked sweet squash like Amber Cup, Red Kuri, or Golden Nugget
•  Single Pie Crust, plus flour for rolling out dough
•  2 large eggs, lightly beaten
•  1/2 cup whole milk
•  1/2 cup heavy cream
•  1/3 cup granulated sugar
•  1/4 cup light brown sugar
•  1/2 tsp salt
•  1/2 tsp nutmeg
•  1 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE MERINGUE

•  3 large egg whites
•  pinch of salt
•  1/4 tsp cream of tartar
•  1/2 cup granulated sugar

TOOLS REQUIRED FOR THE JOB

•  9″ pie plate
•  rolling pin
•  pie crust shield or tin foil
•  cooling rack
•  culinary torch or oven
•  food processor
•  hand mixer
•  spatula
•  large mixing bowls
•  cookie sheet

STEP ONE:

To cook the squash, cut the squash in half, remove seeds, and place on cookie sheet.  Bake for an hour at 350˚ F until soft.  Make and refrigerate your dough while the squash cools.  Preheat oven to 375˚.

STEP TWO:

Measure squash and place into a food processor with eggs, milk, cream, sugars, salt, nutmeg, and vanilla and pulse until smooth and creamy.  Using a 9″ pie plate, roll out and prepare your crust and fill with the squash mixture.

STEP THREE:

Protect the edges with a pie crust protector or foil strips.  Bake for 50-55 minutes until the filing puffs up and cracks around where it meets the crust.  Place on cooling rack until completely cool, about 2 1/2 hours.  Have a cup of tea and put your feet up if desired.  You’ve earned it at this point.

STEP FOUR:

In a large bowl, mix egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar with a hand mixer on low speed until foamy.  Increase speed to high and add the sugar slowly.  Beat on high speed about 4-5 minutes until stiff glossy peaks form.  Spoon mixture on top of cooled pie and spread to desired texture.

STEP FIVE:

I prefer to make spiky peaks, but swirls look equally beautiful and enticing. Using a culinary torch on medium flame, gently brown the meringue evenly across the top, or broil for about 45 seconds with the oven’s heat source at least 7 inches away from the top of the pie, keeping a close eye on it.  Eat, or refrigerate immediately.  The completed pie can be refrigerated up to two days.

STEP SIX:

NOTES AND TIPS

** To shorten your prep time, the squash can be baked the night before, and pie crust already made and chilling in the refrigerator**
** Please note that the eggs whites in the meringue are not fully cooked**
** The meringue will firm up in the refrigerator after being torched and creates almost a thick whipped cream texture that sets nicely for serving.  If served right away, be aware that the meringue tends to still be a bit runny, but no less delicious**