There are plenty of reasons to be thankful. For starters, I live in a non-flood zone in Brooklyn, and our lights only flickered three times during Hurricane Sandy. I woke up the next day with fresh running water and electricity. Other blocks, people lost their cars to fallen trees. In neighborhoods at least 20 minutes away, floods and 100 mph winds destroyed houses and businesses. Although, the hurricane was two weeks ago, the stories continue to increase about the elderly living in high-rise apartment buildings on floors 13, 15 or 18 without running water, heat or electricity. I overhead a conversation about a family’s agony of a finding new home—when everyone in the same, next or other community are looking for a new home to live, too. And, those same families who lost their homes are looking for new schools for their kids. Let’s not forget the holidays are upon us. So, here I am in one of the world’s richest cities, and families are still walking around with just the shirt on their back. Brooklyn is indeed a city of the have and the have nots….
Our only inconvenience was the subways not working and the shortage of gas, but we didn’t complain. My boyfriend simply parked his car. My heart swelled with pride when he didn’t hurry to wait hours in line for gas, because he felt taking the subway solved his transportation needs while others were dealing with devastation and grief—besides shouldn’t the gas be for emergencies? As for me, when the subways were flooded, I learned the bus route for getting to and from work is more peaceful than the train. Matter of fact, being in sunlight on a bus is much better than an artificially lit train.
Even before Hurricane Sandy, I’m appreciative of my boyfriend who had a great year in regards to his career. I’m back to working full-time. My parents are healthy and they’re able to take care of themselves. I’m becoming fond of my little sister—we’re more mature these days. My health is generally good, and it could be excellent if I consistently worked out four days a week, slept eight hours every night, and ate less sweets.
About this sweet addiction… to my credit, this is the time of year, in which sweets become another important food group in our diet. Pie is one of many comfort and celebratory desserts. While eating Butternut Squash Pie with Nairn’s Oatcake Cracker crust, 100 mph winds shook our windows. I watched videos and photos on the Internet in horror as floodwaters rose in coastal areas in New York and New Jersey. That night, before I went to sleep, I said a silent prayer for us to wake up with our health, running water, electricity and heat if it was cold the next day.
Yes… this year, there are plenty of reasons to why I’m thankful. What about you?
Butternut Squash Pie
- 1 medium to large Butternut Squash*
- 2 tbsp. melted butter, cool; coconut oil; or olive oil
- ¼ to ½ cup brown sugar; the amount of sweetness is a personal taste
- 1 tsp. fresh, grated ginger
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- The zest of one lemon
- A dash of sea salt
- 2 eggs; separated
- ¼ cup fresh cream
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 recipe for Nairn’s Oatcake Cracker Pie Crust (recipe below)
- Garnish: Pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- To puree butternut squash: Peel butternut squash. Cut vertically in half (be careful, it’s a tough vegetable). Remove the seeds (thoroughly clean them and toast them for a snack. Recipe here). Cut butternut squash into 1-inch pieces. Please squash onto a foil lined baking sheet. Toss with a little olive oil and a dash of sea salt. Roast the squash in the oven at 400°F for about 30 to 45 minutes, or until fork tender soft. Let cool. Place squash in a food processor and puree until smooth. Measure 2 cups for this recipe and save the rest for another recipe.
- Using the whisk attachment of the mixer, whip the 2 cups of Butternut Squash Puree, oil, brown sugar, spices, lemon zest, sea salt, and egg yolks until fluffy for about 3 minutes.
- Mix in the cream and vanilla extract until just incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until a stiff peak forms. Without using the mixer, gently stir in the egg whites into the butternut squash mix until just incorporated.
- Pour butternut squash mix into Nairn’s Oatcake cracker crust. Use a spatula to even the top. Garnish with pecan halves to form a circular pattern.
- Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 400°F. Then reduce the oven to 350°F. Continue baking the pie for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until the pie is set.
- Let cool before eating.
- *Note: Use 2 cups of acorn, sweet potato or pumpkin puree in place of 2 cups of butternut squash puree.
Nairn’s Oatcake Cracker Crust
- 6 tbsp. of unsalted butter, melted and cooled; or coconut oil
- One box of Nairn’s Oatcake Crackers; crumbled
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- A pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place Nairn’s Oatcake Crackers, sugar and sea salt in a food processor. As the crackers are processing into a crumble, quickly add the melted butter or coconut oil through the feed tube. If the mixture is a little dry, add a little more oil.
- Gently press cracker mixture on the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie dish.
- Place crust in the oven to prebake for about 8 to 10 minutes. Place aside to cool until ready to use.
For a Sweet Potato Pie recipe, visit here.
2 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Pie with Nairn’s Oatcake Cracker Crust”
I’ve eaten Nairn’s in the past, but this is a new twist. That looks delicious 🙂
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