Sweet Butternut Pie with Pecan Pastry

Sweet, nutty & spiced. The ideal autumnal pie to start using your pumpkin harvests. This recipe focusses on a butternut squash but any pumpkin would work. The sweeter the better.


**for the filling**
½ butternut squash
peeled and diced into 3cm pieces (about 350g)
4 medium eggs
3 separated
125g light soft brown sugar
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
plus extra to serve (optional)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
250ml evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract​
250ml whipping cream
to serve (optional)
**for the pastry**
200g plain flour
50g pecans
110g cold unsalted butter
30g icing sugar
1 medium egg


1. Boil the butternut squash for 15 mins or until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, make the pastry. Blitz the flour and pecans in a food processor until fine.

3. Add the butter, icing sugar and egg, then pulse until it all comes together in a dough. If needed, add a little water, 1 tbsp at a time. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.

4. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper to the thickness of a £1 coin and use to line a 25cm loose-bottomed fluted tart tin. Trim the edges, prick lightly with a fork, then line with baking paper and fill with baking beans (or rice/lentils/sugar).

5. Blind-bake for 10 mins, then remove the baking beans (or rice/lentils/suar), brush with egg white and bake for 10 mins more or until golden; set aside. Reduce the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C.

6. Blitz the cooled squash to a purée in a food processor. Add the egg and yolks and blitz again until the mixture is pale and smooth.

7. Add the sugar, spices, evaporated milk and vanilla and blitz again until everything is incorporated.

8. Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake for 30-40 mins until just set with no wobble. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

9. Whip the cream (if using) to soft peaks and pile onto the centre of the tart. Top with an extra dusting of nutmeg to serve, if you like.