Easy to prepare and packed with nutrients, this robust, versatile gourd deserves its spot at the holiday table.
Body+Soul, November 2008
Yield Serves 10
For the Crust
24 ginger snaps (6 ounces)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the Filling
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Crystallized ginger, cut into matchsticks
For the crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine gingersnaps and sugar; process until finely ground. Add oil and pulse until crumbs are moistened. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch pie plate and press into bottom and up sides. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the filling, set a steamer basket in a large saucepan, and fill with 1 inch of water; bring to a boil. Place squash in pan, cover, and steam until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
Place squash in food processor and process until very smooth, about 1 minute. Add eggs, brown sugar, half-and-half, fresh ginger, salt, and nutmeg; process until smooth. Place cooled crust on a rimmed baking sheet and pour filling into crust. Bake until set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 1 hour at room temperature, then refrigerate to cool completely, at least 1 hour. Garnish with crystallized ginger.