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« to the fishes in the deep blue sea | Main | O Pomegranate! »

10 November 2005


Shuna, thank you for the photo of the beautiful blue pumpkin! I saw those at the pumpkin patch this year for the first time...

I don't want to burden the blog with my culinary illiteracy, but can you please fill me in on "blind bake"?

OMG, this recipe looks so damn good...and the addition of sage makes me salivate bigtime!



Shuna, this looks wonderful, and makes me want to go and bake tomorrow, but now we need to talk Pecan Pie. My family loves them for the holidays even more than Pumpkin. And the fight comes down to more or less goo. Yum.

I'll send you my recipe.


Blind Baking is when you have to pre/par bake the shell before the filling goes in. This is pretty standard for filling that are liquid or create a lot of liquid.

Preheat oven to a very hot setting. Pull shell out of freezer, line it with a big piece of parchment or double-folded cheesecloth, fill entire shell, up to the sides with dried beans, small stones, "pie weights" etc, and get into the hot oven as quickly as possible. Do not check on the shell until at least 20 minutes have gone by.

I cool down my dried beans and keep them around for another blind bake session. Just be careful to keep them separate from the rest of your beans: they don't make very good soup material!

Mmmm. I have always used evap milk because I was taught that way. I am going to give your heavy cream a try, and possibly do a bit of experimenting with sage too. Thanks!

Shuna, your recipe sounds great. I'm kind of bored with the same old pumpkin pie spices and adding sage makes so much sense, a nice riff on a classic. I had one of those "why didn't I think of that?" moments when I saw it. I also love the picture of the blue pumpkin! 2 Qs, do you recommend roasting the squash and sweet potato or boiling? And do you use both the potato and the squash in your pie, or just one of them?



I think it's important to roast so as not to add any extra water to the equation. I roast face down with the seeded squash in only enough water to evaporate eventually, very lightly covered with a sheet of aluminum foil. I roast until very tender, scrape out the flesh, chill and drain in collander if it looks like water is seeping out.

The sweet potato I just wash, poke a few holes in and wrap well with alum foil.

In this recipe I roasted one sm-midsized squash and one pretty large swt potato, mixed 'em up and have some leftover.

But I have done it with all of one or the other. Yum any which way you choose.

Shuna: I think if I were to make a sweetpotato/squash/pumpkin pie with spices, I would use your recipe. I tend to always repeat the Georgia version which does not use the expected spices, but lots of vanilla and perhaps a rumor of nutmeg, which produces something altogether other in a sweet potato pie. Lots of Yankees don't like it. I don't care!

Another favorite sweet potato pie recipe comes from Minnie Domino of Marin City, who wrote at the bottom of the card I received: "Use dark orange potatoes, not those stringy yellow ones." Amen.

I love it when someone, when I describe "blind baking" a tart shell, asks "What are pie weights?" because I get to say "They woam the seas in search of pwunder, singing 'Yo ho ho and a bottle of wum!'"

I am making this pie for sure. As my CSA Farmbox is finishing the season in a flurry of butternut squash, I think that will be the one I use.

I am a great fan of the sage/squash combo, but had not thought to use it in a dessert. I am beginning to see the possibilities of herbs (as opposed to just spices) with sweets. This spring I made a white peach and basil preserve adapted from a Gourmet recipe that knocked my socks off.

For some reason, I think of the use of these sorts of flavors with sugar as being medieval (in the historical, rather than the pejorative sense!) but I'm not sure if that's just my imagination. I hope to explore this sort of combination further.

Thank you.

That little recipe notebook looks so attractive to me...

THis recipe sounds great, thanks.

Well, Shuna, I made your pie for Thanksgiving this year, warning my guests ahead of time that I was experimenting with a new recipe, and directing them to your blog if it ended in disaster. However, it did not--it was creamy, flavorful, and delicious. Thank you.

Just made your pie Friday night-all butternut squash. It was excellent-I love the sage addition- and got mostly devoured, but I had enough for breakfast yesterday and today.
I roasted the butternut squash seeds mixed with some of the pie spices and a little bit of demarara sugar, and sprinkled a few seeds on the whipped cream on top of the pie. I liked them alot. Actually, it was hard to keep from munching on them , but I managed to save enough for the pie.
Thanks for the recipe.

Dear Chef,
Thanks for this recipe - just in time for Thanksgiving! My sister is, once again, having it at her house. I don't have a house and the person who usually makes the pie isn't going to attend this year, so I have a chance to make a splash. Karen

I need the recipe for an easy
potatoe pie. thank you

my pies always comes out wronge. i need your help.

I just made 2 of these pies for a harvest festival of a farmer friend of mine...delicious.
He had beautiful Red Kurri squash that I roasted for this scrumptious purpose.

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