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Seasonal Recipe

Recipe for parsnip pie

Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

Serves 8

Fresh parsnips make delicious custard pies. Think of this as kin to pumpkin pie, served as dessert with whipped cream. To cut the tapered roots into same-size pieces that will cook evenly, slice the narrow ends crosswise into ½-inch pieces and the wide stem ends lengthwise in halves or quarters and then into ½-inch chunks. When the parsnips are pureed, you should have about 1½ cups. It should not be perfectly smooth; this adds to the old-fashioned charm.

PASTRY

1cup flour
1tablespoon granulated sugar
¼teaspoon salt
6tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut up
1tablespoon ice water mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar, or more if necessary
Extra flour (for sprinkling)

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1. Have on hand a 9-inch pie plate.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, and salt. With your fingers or two blunt knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water mixture and stir with a fork until the dough holds together. If necessary, add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in foil. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

3. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough to a 12-inch round. Lift it onto the rolling pin and ease it into the pan. Fold the overhang under like a hem, making it even with the pan edge. Press the edges with the tines of a fork. Prick the bottom well all over. Freeze for 20 minutes.

4. Set the oven at 375 degrees.

5. Line the pastry with foil and fill it with dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully lift out the foil and beans. Continue baking for 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Total baking time is 25 minutes. Leave the oven on.

FILLING

1pound parsnips, peeled and cut
into ½-inch chunks
Salt, to taste
2eggs
½cup granulated sugar
2tablespoons maple syrup
¾teaspoon ground cinnamon
½teaspoon ground ginger
¼teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾cup half-and-half
1cup heavy cream, softly whipped with 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1. In a saucepan, combine the parsnips, salt, and water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the parsnips are tender. Drain and cool for 5 minutes.

2. In a bowl with a potato masher, work the parsnips until they resemble lumpy mashed potatoes. Beat in the eggs, granulated sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and half-and-half. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.

3. Bake the pie for 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Cool and serve with whipped cream.

Jean Kressy

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