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Serves eight

For the crust:

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably a high-fat European style, chilled and cut into cubes

2 to 4 tablespoons ice water, as needed

For the filling:

1¾ cups butternut squash or pumpkin purée (see note)

3 large eggs

1 cup heavy cream

¾ cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons brandy

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Pinch ground clove

Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms chickpea-size pieces. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. It should be moist but not wet. On a lightly floured surface, gather the dough into a ball. Flatten into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to two days.

2. Remove plastic wrap from dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch circle. Transfer crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Prick crust all over with a fork. Chill crust for 30 minutes. While the crust chills, heat oven to 375 degrees.

3. Line chilled crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes; remove foil and weights and bake until pale golden, 5 to 10 minutes more. Cool on wire rack until needed.

4. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin purée, eggs, cream, brown sugar, brandy, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and clove. Pour mixture into cooled pie shell. Place pie pan onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden and center jiggles just slightly when shaken, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before serving.


To make squash purée, peel, halve and seed a 2½- to 3-pound squash. Cut flesh into 1½-inch chunks. Coat with melted butter or oil and roast at 400 degrees, stirring once or twice, until tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Let squash cool, then purée in a food processor.

From Melissa Clark, The New York Times