BRÛLÉED BUTTERNUT SQUASH PIE *VEGAN // makes enough for two 9′ inch pies or six 4′ inch pies. Filling and crust recipes adapted from Andrew Weil, M.D.
1 box graham crackers
3 tablespoons sesame tahini
6 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon water
6 cups pureed butternut squash, (from about 2 large butternut squash)
1/2 cup cashews 1 cup water
4 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1/2 cup vegan granulated cane sugar
1/2 cup vegan light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup brandy
COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM // makes about 3 1/2 cups
2-14-ounce cans coconut cream, chilled for 24 hours, cream separated
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400° F. Peel the butternut squash and cut into 1/2 inch squares, discarding the seeds and fibrous parts of the squash. Place the pieces over and into the center of a large sheet of tinfoil. Place onto a baking sheet and fold the sides of tinfoil over the squash pieces to cover. Bake for 30 minutes until the squash is soft enough to pierce easily with a fork. Set aside.Meanwhile, in a bowl of a food processor, grind the graham crackers to fine crumbs. Add the tahini, maple syrup, canola oil, salt, and water and pulse just to incorporate. Pour the crumbs into two 9’inch pie pans, or six 4’inch tart shells. Spread evenly over th bottom; then create a circle about 1 inch in to separate the crumbs for the sides from the crumbs for the bottom. Start pressing the outer ring of crumbs evenly up the sides and into the corner (where the side meets the bottom) of the pan. Press the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottom to meet the sides; use a flat bottomed tool or cup to smooth out the bumps. Freeze until crust is firm, about 15 minutes. Keep chilled until ready to fill.
In a blender, pulse the the cashews until finely ground. Add the water and blend on high speed for 2 minutes. Add the baked squash and puree until extremely smooth. Add the cornstarch or arrowroot powder and blend on low speed for 30 seconds.In a large mixing bowl, combine the squash mixture with the sugars and spices. Pour in the brandy and stir to combine. Divide the pie filling equally between the pie crusts. Bake the pies for 50-60 minutes until lightly browned, cracked, and well-set. Remove the pies from the oven, cool, then refrigerate overnight to allow filling to firm up.
To make the coconut whipped cream, scoop the coconut cream layer from the chilled can and discard the coconut liquid or save for later use. With a hand mixer, whip the cream until light and fluffy, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and vanilla extract to taste.Just before serving, sprinkle the top of the pies with a little granulated sugar and using a kitchen torch, brûlée until the sugar is melted and dark brown.Serve pie cool or at room temperature and top with coconut whipped cream.