Author Notes: I love the fall season…apple pie, pumpkins and traditional holiday feasts, although, I am often known for going un-traditional. My favorites, butternut squash and granny smith apple are harvested during the fall and delicious when baked together. This pie combines a soft texture of savory butternut and tart apple with a sweet taste of honey and the warm floral notes of vanilla bean.
Vanilla bean is a must, and rather than split and scrape, I split, toss and stir the bean into a pan of simmering squash and apple, letting the fragrant vanilla seed specks disperse throughout.
My idea was inspired after reading a recipe found in Savuer for Tourte au Potiron, a French pumpkin pie, which used kabocha, apple, sugar and vanilla, baked in puffed pastry. I make my version of this pie a couple times during the late autumn/winter months; a delicious, additional choice for Thanksgiving dessert… an Autumn Affair!
Makes enough filling for one 9 inch pie
FILLING INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS
- THE FILLING CAN BE MADE THE DAY BEFORE
- 6 tbsps butter
- 3 cups butternut squash – seeded, peeled and cubed bite size
- 2 cups granny smith apples, unpeeled, cored and cubed bite size
- Honey - 4 to 6 ozs. honey, any kind, I use clover
- (4 ozs. honey is sweet enough for me, taste test for your preference)
- 1 vanilla bean, split open, but don't scrape it
- 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/4 tsp sea salt - or to taste
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt to top crust (optional)
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the butternut and apples, and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low, add honey and vanilla bean, give it a stir and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon.
- Cover the skillet and cook until squash and apples are very soft and jammy but still holding their shape, about 30 minutes.
- Set aside to cool. When cool, fish out the vanilla bean (keep, dry for other uses) and stir in the salt and pecans.
- Meanwhile, make the pie crust (below), or use your favorite recipe.
- When the crust & filling is ready; roll the bottom half of your pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate. Fill the crust with squash mixture.
- Lay the top crust on; tuck between the filling and the bottom crust and crimp.
- Brush the surface with a milk and cream mixture.
- Sprinkle with coarse salt (optional). Make slits for steam vents.
- Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven until the crust is golden - 50 to 55 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before serving.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8-10 tablespoons ice water
- Put the butter, flour and salt in the food processor, pulse lightly until the mixture resembles wet looking pea sized particles.
- Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing about 10 times after each tablespoon.
- Keep adding and pulsing water until the dough just starts to gather into larger clumps.
- Split the dough in half and place into 2 re-sealable plastic bags, pat each into a disk.
- Let them sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.