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Out of pumpkin? Make this butternut squash pie instead! Smooth, creamy, and filled with fall spices, it’s just as easy and delicious.
I love a pumpkin pie, but sometimes I have trouble making sure I have pumpkin puree on hand, even if I make pumpkin puree from scratch.
Butternut squash though? It’s everywhere during the fall and winter months!
There aren’t too many butternut squash pie recipes out there, which is a little funny because a lot of the canned pumpkin out there more closely resembles butternut than what we consider to be pumpkin!
Butternut squash versus pumpkin
If you’ve ever made your own pumpkin puree, you’ll likely have noticed that the flavor and color is not quite as vibrant as butternut squash.
Butternut squash is also a bit easier to cut up than a pie pumpkin, thanks to its elongated shape.
The squash can be baked cut in half, roasted as cubed, or even boiled as though preparing mashed potatoes.
You could actually use any winter squash you like in a pie, but butternut and its variants such as honeynut or argonaut are extra sweet and smooth.
Ingredients for butternut squash pie
Ready to make this pie? Gather your ingredients first.
Pie crust – Make your own crust or use a premade crust. I recommend parbaking the crust to ensure it is cooked on the bottom.
To parbake, arrange the crust in a pie pan, crimp edges, and prick the bottom multiple times with a fork.
Press a piece of foil into the pan, completely covering crust, and pour in pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then remove beans and let cool slightly before adding filling.
If using frozen crust, follow the package instructions.
Butternut squash puree – You’ll need 1 ½ cups of puree. Look for a squash that is about 3 pounds.
I try to choose squash that have longer necks rather than larger bulb ends, as they will have more flesh rather than seeds.
Brown sugar – Light or dark brown sugar works well. I’ve also made this pie using coconut sugar, which lends great flavor to the pie but can be pricey.
Heavy cream – Also labeled as whipping cream, I use this in my pie instead of evaporated milk.
Eggs – Standard large eggs
Spices – You can use your favorite pumpkin pie spice for this, or mix up the ingredients for this pie. You’ll need cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, plus salt and vanilla extract.
Making butternut squash puree
The easiest way to make butternut squash puree is to roast it in the oven.
Slice your squash vertically, leaving you with two halves with both a neck and bulbous end.
Scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh. Discard (in compost if you have it!) or save for another use.
Rub the squash with just a little bit of oil and place cut-side down on a baking sheet.
Roast for 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of your squash. It should be very soft.
Let the squash cool until easy to handle, then transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
You’ll notice that the squash gets very smooth and creamy, and will look a lot like the canned pumpkin from the grocery store.
How to make butternut squash pie
This recipe is so incredibly easy once you have your puree and crust ready!
Set the parbaked crust on a rimmed baking sheet. This will help catch spills, and also the heat transfer helps cook the crust bottom.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until light bubbles form.
Add the butternut squash puree, heavy cream, brown sugar, spices, salt, and vanilla. Whisk until very smooth and fully incorporated. It will be a nice orange-brown color.
Pour the custard into the pie crust, then very carefully slide the pan into the oven.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the filling is set toward the edges but the center is just slightly wobbly. Let cool completely before serving.
Help, my pie cracked!
First, take a deep breath.
It’s totally OK if your pie cracks. While it might not look the prettiest on the table, it will still be tasty.
And, as you can see, even experienced bakers can accidentally crack a pie.
Cracks result from overbaking, as the eggs in the custard start to tighten up.
If you don’t keep a close eye on your pie this can happen quickly, especially as custard pies continue to cook as they cool due to the residual heat.
You’ll know its time to take your pie out of the oven when it is slightly domed and looks firm around the edges, yet a little sunken and soft in the center.
The center will look jiggly, similar to jello, rather than liquidy.
Once it cools, which will take at least two hours, it should be perfectly set.
And if it does crack? Shrug and slice it anyway, or serve it up with whipped cream in the middle.
Butternut squash pie is best made a day or two ahead of serving, since it needs time to cool and set.
Once cooled to room temperature, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
If condensation forms on the top of the pie, dab it away with a paper towel before serving.
Butternut squash pie will keep in the refrigerator, well wrapped, for about 5 days.
Other pie recipes you’ll love
Add some of these pies to your holiday table!
Butternut Squash Pie
- 1 prepared pie crust
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 350°F and put pie crust in pie pan. Prick crust all over, add parchment paper or foil pressed to the shape of the crust and pie weights (I use dried beans) and bake for 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs until lightly frothy.
- Set pie pan on a rimmed baking sheet (in case of spillage) and pour filling into crust. Cover edges with a pie shield or strips of foil, if desired. Carefully slide the baking sheet into oven and bake the pie for about 45 minutes, until filling is set but still slightly wobbly.