South African Butternut Pie

Butternut pie is a dish with a great tradition in South Africa. Butternut squashes are available all year round in Cape Town and 

all over South Africa and apart from being very affordable they have a long shelf life and can be used in countless dishes. Butternuts belong to the family of squashes although their flesh looks a lot like that of certain pumpkins like for example the orange colored flesh of the  Cinderella pumpkin. But raw butternut flesh is usually much harder than that of pumpkins. Anyway these 

squashes are mainly  used in a variety of soups, as side dishes accompanying countless main courses and as well in pies. This particular recipe works wonderful with many side dishes. I served the finished pie with black beans, a tomato salsa and fried nopales (prickly pear) salad.


  • Butternut      650g / 23 ounces, cubed 
  • Garlic             4 cloves unpeeled 
  • Olive oil         4 tablespoons 
  • Red onions   2 chopped 
  • Vinegar          4 teaspoons (I used my home brewed pineapple vinegar
  • Sugar              3 teaspoons (I used jaggery) 
  • Feta                100g / 3½ ounces 
  • Rosemary     2 tablespoons 
  • Filo / puff pastry    1 x  500g/18 ounce roll, defrosted

Preparation time: 45 minutes 
Cooking time: at least 50 minutes
Resting time: 0 minutes
Total time needed: at least 1 H 35 minutes
Grade of Difficulty: standard


Serves 4

Butternut Pie


  • Preheat oven to 2000C/4000F
  • Place butternut and garlic and half of olive oil in tupperware and shake.
  • Pour out on baking tray lined with baking paper
  • Put in oven on middle shelf and bake 20 minutes or until butternut is just getting soft and beginning to brown
  • While butternut is roasting, place rest of olive oil and onions in a pan over medium heat and cook for ten minutes, then add vinegar and sugar and cook for another ten, till onion caramelizes
  • Remove onion from stove and butternut from oven, and set garlic aside
  • Mix onion and butternut in a bowl
  • Squeeze out garlic, add half of chopped rosemary mix these with the onion-butternut mix, then gently add crumbled feta cheese.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste


  • Divide the pastry into 350g and 150g pieces
  • Roll out the larger piece on a lightly floured surface and line a 23cm / 9.05 inch tin
  • Place the filling in the pastry base, and trim the excess pastry.
  • Roll out the remaining pastry, and scatter rosemary on it
  • Fold the pastry in half and roll it again, enclosing the herbs
  • Cut into strips 1cm wide, 12 or thereabouts
  • Lay the strips over the top of the filling in a lattice pattern, 6 in one direction, 6 crossing them at right angles, interweaving them, over under, as you go.
  • You can twist the strips if you like. 
  • Trim the ends of the pastry and seal to the pie edges with a dab of water
  • Brush the pastry topping with beaten egg to glaze it.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, Remove from oven and serve Butternut pie hot.

Baked Vegetables

South African Butternut Soup

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