Tuesday, February 3, 2009 by Daniel

Polly's Magic Sugar-free Pie

Polly, CFEB kick-ass athlete and (as it turns out) killer cook brought this pie to Evelyn's birthday party, and it was the undisputed hit of the evening. She finally shared her recipe on Facebook, and I'm pasting it here for posterity. It's really delicious: good texture, subtle flavor, not very sweet at all. Perfect with tea or coffee, and a welcome antidote to the sweeter-than-sweet desserts that are everywhere these days.

Time required: A bunch. Best if done in between tasks while at home for several hours.


Filling - ( I don't usually measure, but I will estimate)
  • 1 acorn squash - any hard winter squash (Sugar Pie Pumpkin, Kabocha, butternut, or Delicata all work pretty well). Or get canned pumpkin. Mine ended up being about 1 and 1/3 cup of squash glop.
  • 2 eggs and one egg yolk
  • 1 cup heavy cream (my preference) or you can use condensed milk
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 or 1 tsp of each - ginger, cloves, and nut meg (or use pumpkin pie spice if you like).
  • 1 tsp vanilla - optional (I forgot to put it in. Keep in mind that many have sugar in them. Avoid those)
  • 5 pitted Deglet Noor dates. I am sure any type would work. Add more if you want it sweeter.
Crust -
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup dried coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup roasted white sesame seeds
  • Add some ground up pecans or whatever nut you like.
  • Key ingredient: 3/4 cup butter - cubed.
  • 4 tsp or so ice cold water.
  • Left over egg white from the filling
Whipped Cream-
  • 1 or more cups heavy cream
  • 1 or more dates to sweeten
  • about 1 tsp vanilla, or other liquor if you like
  • Spices: add some cinnamon or other spices you like.
Making the filling (the easy part): Cut the squash, take out the seeds and strings, and cube it. Steam or steam-bake it (approx 30-45 min). Spoon out the meat of the squash and allow to cool before blending. Put everything in the blender or maybe a food processor and blend until it is completely combined and there are no chunks of dates. Put that in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that you can increase the ammount of squash/pumpkin that you use, just keep the cream and egg ratio relatively the same.

Making the crust (If you know how to make a crust, just do it your way): Make sure the cubed butter is cold. I put it in the freezer for maybe 10 minutes. Put it in your food processor and pulse it until the cubes are about pea sized. I don't have a food processor, so I use my hands. and just mush it until the cubes are pretty small. Add ice cold water a tsp at a time until everything just starts to stick together. Ball it up or form it into a disk and put it in the fridge in wax paper, or if you don't have wax paper or a plastic bag, just a container will do. You can leave it in the fridge for an hour or more, but if your impatient, you can throw it in the freezer for lets just say, 10 or 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 450. Use some flour, and roll the dough out on a cutting board or hard surface until it will fit your pie pan and is somewhere between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick.

Cooking the crust: Now that your crust is in the pan, cover it with tin foil and weighted material to keep from creating bubbles (I used dry beans that came most of the way up the sides). I poked some fork holes in the crust as well, to prevent bubbles. Bake for 10-20 minutes (check on it), until the sides are just starting to brown. beat your egg white a little and brush it onto the crust. Bake uncovered another 2-3 minutes.

Turn your oven down to 425 and pour in your filling. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn down your oven to 350 and bake another 40-50 minutes or until you stick a knife or toothpick and it comes out clean. Let it cool for about 2 hours. Refrigerate it if you like it cold.

Make the whipped cream just prior to serving it. Make sure everything you are using is as cold as possible - freeze or refrigerate your equipment if you can. You can do it by hand, or use your preferred method. I just grind up the date(s), add in the cream, blend, put it into a bowl/container, then mix in the vanilla and spices by hand after it is whipped.

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