This is a delicious, delicately spiced Butternut Squash Tart with the flavors of brown sugar and warm spices, in particular cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. The filling is similar to a pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie in texture but the earthy sweetness of fresh butternut squash purée sets this pie apart from regular pumpkin pies. It's quite easy to prepare at home and makes for a wonderful fall dessert that I really enjoy in September. And, the golden brown color of the baked pie is kind of hard to beat.
I have baked many pumpkin and squash pies over the years. I must admit that I like butternut squash pies the best. I have eaten them with a pecan topping, meringue topping or plain. I prefer them plain. Sometimes I bake this pie in an unbaked pie shell, or I partially bake (blind bake) the pie shell first before filling to avoid a soggy bottom. Occasionally I bake it with a cookie crust.
This time I made a made a tart crust with whole wheat cookies, pre-baked it for 15 minutes and left the baked tart plain. And I really liked it. So, that’s the recipe I’m posting today – a no-fuss, cookie crust butternut sqaush pie to start off fall baking in a yummy way.
Butternut Squash Tart with Whole Wheat Cookie Crust
For the Cookie Crust
- 200g whole wheat cookies (around here 'Vollkornkekse') OR use graham crackers
- 2 tbsp superfine baking (caster) sugar
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/8 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
- 56g unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
- 1 cup fresh butternut squash purée
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 2 eggs (M), free-range or organic
- 85 ml cream (half-and-half) OR use condensed milk
- 3/4 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tbsp spelt flour
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 8g pure vanilla sugar (around here 'Bourbon Vanilla Zucker')
- Preheat oven to 180°C (356°F) degrees.
- Break up large cookies and process cookies, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a food processor until fine crumbs form, then add the melted butter. Process until combined.
- Transfer mixture to a 24 cm (9.5in) tart pan with a removable bottom, pat into bottom and up the sides.
- Place tart pan on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake until crust is fragrant and slightly colored, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the squash with the brown sugar.
- Add the eggs, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, flour, butter, and vanilla sugar. Beat until well blended and smooth.
- Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie crust and place on the center oven rack.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until set. When the filling is set, transfer the pie to a rack to cool.
- Serve just warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream (you culd also go with crème fraîche or vanilla custard) or plain. It’s nice to sprinkle a bit of freshly ground cinnamon and/or nutmeg on top of the whipped cream just before serving.
While there are a ton of pumpkin or squash pie recipes out there, I like this one. It’s s simple. It’s fast. You are likely to have most ingredients on hand – honestly, who doesn’t happen to have a bit of butternut squash lingering in the fridge after a long weekend cooking up fall veggies for a crowd?!