A pie topped with seeds and cream in a butternut squash patch
Photography, Al Douglas

Butternut Squash Pie With Bourbon Whipped Cream

Michael Smith's creative alternative to the classic pumpkin pie.

You can easily make a pumpkin pie with a butternut squash instead of a pumpkin because it’s all about the spice blend anyway. That is, unless you roast the squash first to concentrate the flavours before gently baking the squash purée in a delicious spiced custard. As homage, ground pumpkin seeds are bound with sugar and butter into a crispy, crunchy crust. Bourbon elevates simple whipped cream to harmonize with the fragrant pumpkin spices. –Michael Smith

A pie topped with seeds and cream in a butternut squash patch

Butternut Squash Pie

Michael Smith's recipe for a sweet butternut squash pie with a pumpkin seed crust and Bourbon whipped cream to serve.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, British, Canadian
Servings 8


Pumpkin Seed Crust

  • cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • pinch sea salt

Butternut Squash Filling

  • 1 large butternut squash peeled, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp butter melted
  • cups heavy 35% cream
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

Bourbon Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy 35% cream
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp bourbon or another spirit
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3-4 squash blossoms thinly sliced, for garnish


Pumpkin Seed Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Turn on the convection fan if you have one.
  • Measure the pumpkin seeds, white sugar, butter, and salt into a food processor. Grind into coarse crumbs, forming an even dough. Transfer the mixture to a 9 or 10-inch (23 or 25 cm) non-stick pie plate and evenly press across the bottom and up the sides. Top with a similar pie plate and press firmly to form an even pie crust. Perforate the crust with a fork 8 times in an even pattern. (The holes keep it from bubbling and shrinking.) Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, 20 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and reserve until needed. Keep the oven on. Wipe out the food processor.

Butternut Squash Pie

  • Place the butternut squash halves cut side up on a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and bake until soft and lightly browned, 1 hour or so. Remove from the oven and rest until cool.
  • Transfer the baked squash to a food processor and purée until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice. Add the cream, brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice.
  • Transfer the purée to the pie crust, smoothing the surface evenly. Bake until the filling is firm, 45 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and rest until completely cool.

Bourbon Whipped Cream

  • Combine the cream, sugar, bourbon and vanilla and whip until thick.
  • Slice the cooled pie and serve with generous dollops of bourbon whipped cream and a scattering of thinly sliced squash blossoms.

A cookbook cover in a light frame

Excerpted from Farmhouse Vegetables by Michael Smith. Copyright © 2023 Michael Smith. Photography by Al Douglas. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
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