This lighter variation of our pumpkin pie practically floats. The fluffy texture comes from separating the eggs and folding the stiff whites into the batter. A topping of whipped cream adds to the feeling that you’re lifting an airy pumpkin dream to your mouth. At Macrina, butternut squash is the not-so-secret ingredient in our pumpkin pies. Simply put, we think pumpkin pies taste better with a dollop of roasted butternut squash. In this recipe however, butternut squash can replace the pumpkin altogether. We hope the cloud-like combination of sweetened squash, crystalized ginger and buttery graham cracker crust becomes an annual holiday tradition.
6 ounces graham crackers (2 cups), crushed in food processor
1/2 cup coconut our
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 cups roasted butternut squash, puréed (or substitute a 15-ounce can of pumpkin purée)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon + 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons crystalized ginger, medium dice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 packet powdered gelatin (1/4 ounce)
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon crystalized ginger, thinly sliced
Sugared cranberries or pomegranate seeds
Preheat oven to 350°F and center the oven rack.
In a medium bowl, add the crushed graham crackers, coconut flour and melted butter. Mix well with a spoon. Press the mixture into a 9″ pie pan so that the edges and base have a uniform thickness. Bake for 5-10 minutes until edges are golden brown. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the puréed butternut squash (or pumpkin), maple syrup and vanilla extract. Set aside.
Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a medium bowl and the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Place a medium bowl over a saucepan filled with 2″ of water (or use a double boiler). Add the milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, crystalized ginger, nutmeg and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Add the powdered gelatin and whisk to combine.
Add 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Continue adding the milk mixture in 1/4 cup increments until it’s all added. Return the incorporated mixture to the double boiler over medium heat and whisk for 3 minutes to thicken the custard. Stir in the squash purée and cook for another 3 minutes to evaporate any excess water from the squash.
Transfer the pie filling to a clean bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes, giving it an occasional stir.
Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer until they look foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar and whip until the whites are gently firm.
Fold the egg white mixture into the cooled pie filling. Ensure that it’s uniformly combined before pouring the mixture into the prepared graham cracker shell. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream. As the mixture starts to firm up, add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.
Top the pie with the sweetened heavy cream. It is best if you chill the pie for another 2 hours before serving to let the whipped cream set up. For a festive presentation, garnish with crystalized ginger and sugared cranberries or pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!