Happened to have our first work-night potluck on a dear Borner Farm friend’s birthday, so it was the perfect opportunity to make a special dessert in her honor! Seemed particularly fitting since she was the one who first introduced me to this tradition of birthday baking from afar, along with the surprising marvel of turnip pie. The turnips have only just poked their tiny seed leaves into the world, so I made use of some over-wintered beets I salvaged from the greenhouse instead. Made for a delightful treat, looking and tasting almost exactly like a pumpkin pie, with just the faintest hint of beet essence. By the time I was finished spreading the last load of mulch and putting away tools, most of the pie had been devoured and, alas, I had failed to capture its beauty in a picture first.
Thanks to the Love Beets blog for the assurance that making a “Spiced Beet Cake” wasn’t a crazy, untested idea… though since I don’t have a kitchen scale (or the patience to use one), I ended up using the turnip pie recipe for reference instead, pretty much just swapping out the turnips for beets. I baked it in a sourdough crust, this time using a full 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour rather than mixing other flours… most successful version yet! Didn’t have a food processor to puree the cooked beets, just a blender, so I chopped them small, then gradually stirred them into the other ingredients and blended together — simpler than I expected to make a smooth filling.
Definitely will be making this again the next time I have an abundance of beets, a crowd to feed, and can squeeze it into my schedule!
Sweet Beet Pie
Single pie crust (my favorite is a sourdough crust)
2/3 cup sugar or sweetener of your choice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger (or maybe a teaspoon ground ginger)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup milk of choice (I used 1/3 cup yogurt + 2/3 cup water)
2 cups pureed beets
Roll out pie crust and line a greased pie plate with it, then chill while you combine together the filling until smooth. Preheat oven to 425F, pour filling in pan, place over a baking sheet to catch any possible drips, and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake an additional 40-45 minutes, until a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy!