SILKY AND SPICY 'PUMPKIN' PIE

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Adding eggs to a pie filling as the last ingredient allows you to taste the filling for flavor and balance with no danger of eating raw eggs. There will be about a cup of extra filling that you could bake in a ramekin along with the pie. The squash could be roasted up to two days in advance.

• 2 small to medium butternut squashes

• 3/4 c. white sugar, or to taste

• Generous 1/4 tsp. salt

• Generous 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

• 1 to 11/2 tsp. cinnamon

• 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

• 1/2 tsp. ground allspice

• 1 tbsp. vanilla

• 1/8 tsp. black pepper

• 1/2 c. sour cream

• 1/2 c. (more or less) milk

• 3 eggs, beaten

• 1 (10-in.) pie shell, prebaked at 400 degrees for 10 minutes

• 1 c. heavy cream, whipped (for topping)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and lightly oil it. Halve the 2 squashes from top to bottom, scoop out their seeds and place them cut-side down on the baking sheet. Bake about an hour or until a knife easily slips into the thickest part of the squash. They should be extremely tender. Cool, then scoop out the squash and purée it completely in a food processor. You should end up with 31/2 to 33/4 cups.

To make the pie, have the oven at 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the squash, sugar, salt, spices, vanilla, pepper, sour cream and milk. Taste for sweetness and spiciness, adding more sugar and/or spices if needed. Then blend in the eggs completely.

Pour the filling into the baked 10-inch shell. Set it on a cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake another 45 minutes to an hour. The pie is done when a knife inserted an inch or more in from the edge comes out just about clean (the center will still be soft). Cool the pie on a rack. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream.

Nutrition information per serving of 12:

Calories 304 Fat 18 g Sodium 206 mg

Carbohydrates 32 g Saturated fat 8 g Calcium 76 mg

Protein 5 g Cholesterol 82 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 3 1/2 fat.