Spiced Butternut Squash Pecan Pie
Free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar, this Spiced Butternut Squash Pecan Pie is a nice change from your classic pumpkin pie, and perhaps even better! What’s best is you can easily make it with your own homemade butternut squash puree and ditch the canned pumpkin stuff!
If you’re a fan of pumpkin pie, then you will totally fall for butternut squash pie. Honestly, the two are very similar in taste and texture, but one clear advantage that the latter has over the former is that you can make your own butternut squash puree at home, from scratch, using fresh gourds that you ideally purchased from a local farmer, market, or even better yet, grown yourself in your own garden. And this means — among many other environmental benefits — you’ll be leaving an aluminium can on the shelves. I’m all for using less cans!!
Technically, pumpkin pie is made with a traditional pie crust, but I prefer to make mine with a crumb crust. Firstly, because I have no patience for making pie dough; I find that crumb crusts are so much easier to deal with. Not only that, but they also add tons of flavor AND nutritional value to your pie. The only downside to these kinds of crusts is that they tend to be extremely fragile, especially when the filling happens to be crazy moist and super silky. So they don’t support your slices very well, making it hard to extract picture perfect slices from your pie.
But frankly, I find that the benefits totally outweigh this small inconvenience…
Of course, if you preferred to go the traditional route you could very well use my paleo pie dough recipe instead of the crumb crust that I am suggesting in this post. But seriously, while this crust doesn’t entirely make the pie, it complements it so well, I totally recommend that you stick with it and be super delicate when handling and serving your pie. Just use a good pie server and you should be fine!
Personally, I think that the addition of chopped pecans to that crust as well as to the top of the pie, as a garnish, really helps in toning down the level of sweetness and intense spiciness of this traditional dessert. And the shredded coconut simply takes it to another level!
Try it once, then you can decide for yourself which option you like best!
If you’re going to make this pie, of course you’ll need to prepare some butternut squash puree. Personally, I find that the easiest way to do this is to roast the butternut squash in the oven (follow the instructions in the post, although you might want to hold the black pepper this time… or not!) and then let it cool, scoop out the flesh and puree it up in a small food processor. I find that my compact Ninja Food Prep Food Processor works perfectly well for this!
Since you’re going to want to let that puree chill completely before you use it, it might be a good idea to make it the previous day. You will need 2 cups of puree to make the recipe; while this may seem like a small amount, don’t let that deceive you… you will be needing practically all of a medium butternut squash.
Once your butternut squash puree is good to go and you are ready to make your pie, preheat oven to 350°F and combine all the ingredients for the crust in a large bowl.
Mix all that with a fork until everything is well combined and evenly distributed.
Then, transfer this mixture to a 9″ non-stick deep pie dish with removable bottom and press it firmly at the bottom and about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust for 8 minutes and then remove it from the oven but leave the oven on.
Next, combine all the ingredients for the filling in a high speed blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy, about one minute.
Pour that mixture into the reserved pie crust and spread it evenly with a spatula.
Bake your pie in the 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling appears set and the top gets significantly darker.
Turn off the oven and crack the door open. Allow the pie to cool for a couple of hours, then take it out of the oven and let it cool completely before transferring it to the refrigerator, where you will leave it to cool for at least 8 hours, but preferably overnight.
See how much darker the pie got after it’s baked and cooled?
Note that when you take your pie out of the fridge, there’s a great possibility that the filling will have developed a few cracks here and there. If that’s the case, do not fret! You can very easily smooth them out with a small offset spatula. Your pie will look good as new!
To put the finishing touch on your butternut squash pie and make it extra pretty, garnish its top with finely chopped pecans and a little bit of unsweetened shredded coconut.
I chose to do spirals with mine, starting with the pecans and then adding a little sprinkle of shredded coconut, for a bit of contrast. Of course, feel free to decorate yours as you see fit.
Now delicately remove the pie from the dish and serve. Note that the crust is very delicate and will not support the soft and silky filling very well, so be sure to serve it with a pie server.
Spiced Butternut Squash Pecan Pie
For the crust
For the filling
For the crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Combine all the ingredients for the crust in a large bowl and mix with a fork until well combined and evenly distributed. Press firmly at the bottom and about 3/4 of the way up the sides of a 9" non-stick removable bottom deep pie dish; bake for 8 minutes and remove the crust from the oven but leave the oven on.
For the filling
- Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a high speed blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy, about one minute. Pour into the reserved pie crust and spread evenly with a spatula.
- Bake the pie in the 350°F oven for 35-40 minutes, until the filling appears set and top gets significantly darker.
- Turn off the oven and crack the door open. Allow pie to cool for a couple of hours, then take it out of the oven and let it cool completely before transferring it to the refrigerator, where you will leave it to cool for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
- When you take the pie out of the fridge, there's a big chance that the filling will have cracked a little. If that's the case, you can very easily smooth it out with a small offset spatula. It'll look good as new!
- To make your pie extra pretty, garnish its top with finely chopped pecans and a little bit of unsweetened shredded coconut.
- Delicately remove the pie from the dish and serve. Note that the crust is very delicate and will not support the filling very well, so be sure to serve it with a pie server.