This recipe was a mainstay of the Rutledge Tavern, in New Salem, Illinois, where Lincoln often stopped to eat as a young lawyer on the law circuit tour. He was served by Ann Rutledge, daughter of the tavern owner and allegedly Lincoln’s first love.
1 unbaked deep-dish pie shell
2 cups cooked mashed or puréed winter squash (e.g., butternut, acorn or Hubbard )
2 eggs plus 1 egg separated into white and yolk
2 cups milk
1 Tbs. melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
heavy cream, if desired, for whipped cream topping
To prepare squash. Pierce the squash skin in several places with a knife, place in a baking dish, and bake in a 350º oven until squash is easily pierced with a fork (about an hour). LET IT COOL COMPLETELY. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, and mash it or purée it with an electric mixer or food processor. Recipe takes about 1 large or 2 small butternut squash. Or, boil or steam the squash until tender before mashing it.
Heat the oven to 400º.
Beat the egg white lightly and brush it on the pie crust lightly to keep the filling from soaking into the crust.
Beat the 2 eggs and 1 yolk slightly and mix with the milk and mashed squash. Stir in the melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Mix together thoroughly.Taste for sweetness and spiciness and add more sugar or spices, as desired. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and place the pie pan on a cookie sheet to catch any spills. Bake at 400º for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 325º and bake 45 minutes to one hour. The pie is done when a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out lean.
Serve with a whipped cream topping, if desired.
Recipes from The President’s Cookbook by Poppy Cannon & Patricia Brooks. ©1968.