Serves: Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
- 1 recipe Flaky Pie or Tart Dough, prepared through Step 8
- 10 ounces butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1½ cups)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large (10 to 12 ounces) onion, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
- ¾ cup (6 ounces) whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup (4 ounces) heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup (1½ ounces) plus ½ cup (1½ ounces) finely grated pecorino cheese
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
- 1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 8 grinds black pepper
- Bake the shell: Preheat the oven to 375°F and position 2 oven racks in the top and bottom thirds. Line the chilled pie shell with heavy-duty foil, pressing the foil firmly and smoothly into the crevices of the pan. Fill the pan with pie weights. Make sure the weights reach up the sides to the rim of the pan (the center does not need to be filled quite as full). Bake the shell for 20 to 22 minutes, until the foil comes away from the dough easily (if it doesn't, then bake another 5 to 6 minutes and check again). Remove the pan from the oven, close the oven door, and lift out the foil and weights from the shell; set them aside to cool. Return the pan to the oven to continue baking the shell for about 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven, close the oven door, and check to see if any cracks have formed. If you see a crack, very gently smear a tiny bit of reserved dough over the crack to patch it-you need only enough to seal the opening. Return the pan to the oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer, until the crust is a nice golden brown all over. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
- Roast the squash while the pie crust is baking: Line the baking sheet with a silicone mat or lightly coat it with high-heat canola-oil spray. In the medium bowl, use a spatula to toss the squash cubes with the olive oil, brown sugar, salt, and pepper until all the squash is evenly coated. Scrape onto the prepared baking sheet and spread apart slightly. Roast on the top oven rack for 20 to 25 minutes, until deep golden and tender when pierced with the tip of a thin, sharp knife. Let cool on a rack. Decrease the oven temperature to 350°F.
- Caramelize the onion: Heat the olive oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and set aside to cool.
- Prepare the custard: In the large bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs until well blended. Whisk in the cream, ½ cup of the cheese, the chives, thyme, sage, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
- Assemble the pie: Spread the caramelized onion in the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Scrape the squash into the pie shell and spread into an even layer on top of the onion. Slowly pour the custard over the squash in a circular pattern. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheese over the top.
- Bake the pie: Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the edge of the custard puffs and the center is set. To test, tap the side of the pie pan and watch the center of the custard. It should not look like liquid, but should move as one piece (the Jell-O jiggle). Transfer to a rack and let cool for about 30 minutes. Serve the pie warm, cutting it with a thin and sharp knife and using a pie server to transfer a slice to each plate. Storing The pie will keep at room temperature for 4 hours. For longer storage, refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 375°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes to warm the filling and re-crisp the crust.