The problem with pumpkin pie is pumpkin. Most pumpkins teeter toward tasteless. Instead, roast butternut squash and you get lush sweetness and kicks of caramel.
Adding eggs to a pie filling as the last ingredient allows you to taste the filling for flavor and balance with no concern about eating raw eggs. If you can fresh-grind whole spices for the pie, all the better. Any leftover filling can be baked with the pie for Black Friday breakfast.
1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, measured by dipping the cup into the flour and leveling
1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) cake flour, dipped and leveled
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (5 ounces – 1-1/4 sticks) stone-cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg, beaten
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
Butter for pie pan
2 small to medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
3/4 cup sugar, or to taste
Generous 1/4 teaspoon salt
Generous 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
About 1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream, whipped with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 teaspoons sugar
Up to 3 days ahead, make the pastry in a food processor by first blending the flours, sugar and salt, then pulsing in the butter until it looks like peas. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon ice water and drizzle over the pastry. Pulse only until dough barely gathers together (3 to 5 seconds). Wrap and chill 1 hour to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 400°F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Butter a 10" shiny, roomy metal pie pan (a dark one will overcook crust and a very shallow pan makes a skimpy pie).
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to about 1/8-inch thick. Gently fit it into the pan. Trim off all but a 1-inch rim hanging over the edge of the pan. Fold over the pastry so it is doubled on the pan’s rim. Pinch it together every 1/2 inch or so for a fluted crust. Chill 1 hour to overnight. Then line with foil and weights. Bake 10 minutes. Carefully remove the foil liner, with a fork pierce the crust in several places, and bake an additional 5 minutes or until dry looking. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Keep at room temperature up to 24 hours.
Roast the squash flesh-side down on an oiled cookie sheet in a 400°F oven. Bake one hour, or until a knife slips easily into the thickest part of the squash. They should be extremely tender.
Cool, then scoop out the squash and puree it completely in a food processor. You should end up with 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 cups puree.
To make the pie, have the oven at 400°F. In a food processor or a large bowl, beat together the squash, sugar, salt, spices, vanilla, pepper, sour cream and milk until smooth. Taste for sweetness and spiciness, adding more sugar and/or spices if needed. Then beat in the eggs.
Pour the filling into the baked pie shell (save any extra for baked custard). Set it on a cookie sheet to catch any spills. Bake 15 minutes then reduce heat to 325°F. Bake another 45 minutes to 1 hour. The pie is done when a knife inserted an inch or more in from the edge comes out nearly clean (the center will still be soft).
Cool the pie on a rack. Chill if you are holding it more than a couple of hours. Serve the pie at room temperature, either topped with the whipped cream or pass the cream at the table.
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