Winter Luxury Pie

Winter Luxury Pie

The perfect pumpkin (squash) pie. Rich, simple, delicious, that’s how I would characterize the nearly two-hundred year old recipe of Lydia Maria Child. 


  • Two 10-inch pie pans


  • 1 medium “winter luxury” squash about 3 lbs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar more to taste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon more to taste
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger more to taste
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon optional
  • 3 eggs whisked to mix
  • Two 10-inch pie shells


  • To cook squash: slice skin from top and bottom of the squash. In a curving motion, cut remaining skin in segments from the sides, working from top to bottom. Cut flesh in half, scoop out and discard seeds and cut the flesh in chunks; they should weigh about 2 pounds.
  • Put squash in a saucepan with water to cover base of the pan. Add the lid and cook over medium heat, stirring often, so pumpkin steams until it can be crushed easily with a fork, 30-45 minutes. Crush it with a potato masher or purée in a food processor until smooth.
  • Chill the pie shells. Heat oven to 400˚F/200˚C and put a baking sheet low down on a shelf to heat. For filling, heat milk in a large saucepan. Stir in pumpkin purée and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, so the mixture thickens slightly, about 20 minutes.
  • Let cool to tepid, then stir in sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon if using. Taste and adjust sweetness and spice. Lastly stir in eggs.
  • Transfer filling to pie shells. Set pies on the heated baking sheet and bake in the oven 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350˚F/180˚C and continue baking until pies are firm but slightly wobbly in the center, 40 to 50 minutes more.
  • Serve at room temperature. Makes two 10-inch pies.