The Handoff: Inside Out Squash Pie
By Sarah A. Maine
Sunnyside, NY – Welcome back for the conclusion of my inside out squash pie, inspired by Kara’s Vegan Sweet Potato Pie and a conversation I had at the farmers market last weekend. After two delicious weeks of dessert, I’ve taken things back in a savory direction – making an inside out squash pie using a delicata squash shell with herbed custard filling.
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The shell of the squash takes the place of a crust; delicata squash is particularly good for this since the skin is thin and good for eating. In order to infuse the squash with some savory flavors I brushed it with a garlic and herb mixture before baking. The recipe for filling below makes about 1 cup of filling, a little more than I needed for the delicata squash. If you are using a larger squash you can scale up the amount as needed.
You can use any mixture of your favorite fresh herbs to season the shell and the filling. I used winter savory and two kinds of thyme.
The use of cheese in the filling is optional, you can omit it altogether, or add it after the squash has finished baking. I’ve been interning at the Saxelby Cheesemongers Cheese Cave for the past couple of months and every so often I get to take home an orphaned wedge of cheese. This week I came home with a piece of Spring Brook Farms’ Reading Raclette, a cheese that is very amenable to melting. When an opportunity to melt some cheese presents itself, I take it!
This recipe is very adaptable and forgiving so have some fun with it and let me know how your Inside Out Squash Pies turn out!
Inside Out Squash Pie
Prep Time: 50 minutes (including baking squash shells)
Cook Time: 20 minutes (to bake filling)
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
For the Shell:
- 1 delicata squash (or winter squash of your choice)
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs (I used winter savory, and two kinds of thyme)
- 1 clove garlic
For the Filling:
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 Tablespoon sunflower seed oil (or other heat tolerant oil)
- 2 eggs
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon herbs (same mix as before)
- 1/4 cup milk or cream
- 1/8 cup grated cheese (I used Reading Raclette)
- Preheat the oven to 350º F
- Split and seed the squash. To gauge how much filling you need to make fill the cavities of the squash with water, transfer the water to a measuring cup and make a note of the volume. I used a ratio of two thirds eggs and one third milk to make up my filling mixture.
- Place the squash in a baking pan, cavity side up.
- Chop 1 Tablespoon of mixed herbs, place in a small bowl and combine with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 1 clove minced garlic. Liberally brush this mixture over the cavities of the squash.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until tender (40 minutes for delicata, this may vary with larger squash, periodically test tenderness with a fork).
- While the squash is baking, finely dice the onion.
- Heat a pan over medium heat, add 1 Tablespoon sunflower seed oil, then add onions. Stir constantly until brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In the measuring cup combine 1 teaspoon mixed herbs, 1 clove minced garlic, 2 eggs, and 1/4 cup milk. Beat well.
- When the squash is cooked through, position the two halves in the baking pan so they are as level as possible. Line the cavities with caramelized onion (reserve some for garnish). Slowly pour the egg mixture into the cavities (if you have extra you can pour it into ramekins and bake it separately as a tiny souflé). Sprinkle grated cheese on top (optional), bake for 20 minutes until the filling is firm.
- Garnish with caramelized onions (and some more cheese!). Serve with a fresh winter spinach salad.