Did you get stuck bringing a dessert to Thanksgiving? Pies can certainly be intimating. Making a crust from scratch can be messy…and nightmarish, especially when everyone has high expectations for the classic pumpkin pie. That’s why you might want to go for a unique alternative: mini acorn squash pies.
This fall-perfect pie in a jar will feel just like orange leaves and Thanksgiving, but won’t feel like you just made the same old. You can even skip the crust part and make it parfait-style inside a mason jar (all you have to do is make filling and whip cream and layer it a few more times). No doubt about it: everyone will be so impressed by your pie ingenuity this year.
MASON JAR ACORN SQUASH PIE
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 mason jar)
Active 30 mins. Total 1 hour, 45 mins.
4 (8-oz.) wide mouth Mason jars
1 acorn squash (about 1 3/4-lb.)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
6 Tbsp. (3 oz.) unsalted butter
1/2 cup coarse graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup coarse gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
2 cups creamy whipped topping (such as Cool Whip Extra Creamy)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a fork, prick holes in acorn squash. Place squash on a baking sheet; bake in preheated oven 45 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes. Cut squash in half; remove and discard seeds. Return squash to oven, and bake until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove squash from oven, scoop out flesh; discard skin.
2. Place cooked squash, cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a high-powered blender. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes.
3. Heat butter in a skillet over medium until melted. Cook, swirling skillet, until butter begins to brown, and becomes nutty and fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the browned butter to squash puree, and stir until combined.
4. Add graham cracker crumbs, gingersnap crumbs, oats, brown sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to remaining browned butter in skillet. Stir to combine.
5. Spoon 1/4 cup squash puree into bottom of a Mason jar. Top with 3 tablespoons crumb mixture, then top with 3 tablespoons whipped topping. Layer another 1/4 cup squash puree, and top with 3 tablespoons whipped topping. Garnish with some of the crumb mixture. Repeat layers in remaining 3 Mason jars.