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Click to see Saveur's feature on my Rosemary Rutabaga Fries.

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Rutabaga Pie

Rutabaga Pie
I'm a big fan of rutabaga, as regular readers know. With locally grown rutabaga available most of the year here in Portland now that the farmers' market runs year round I keep looking for interesting ways to use our favorite root vegetable, so as we start to look forward to the holiday season I was thinking about pie possibilities using rutabaga. I frequently search Google News Archive for recipes from newspapers from earlier times so I looked for a rutabaga pie recipe – and found one in an unsigned article ("Don't Turn Down the Turnip - It's Versatile") in the Milwaukee Journal, November 12, 1969. I've adapted this version from that source. 

Buttered Rutabaga with Herbs
Click for More Rutabaga Recipes 

The Milwaukee Journal article oddly leads with a turnip recipe, then instructs that "turnips and rutabagas should not be used interchangably," and, without a beat, launches into a couple of rutabaga recipes. The fact is that while turnip and rutabaga are related (the rutabaga originated as a cross between turnip and cabbage) and rutabaga is frequently called "yellow turnip" they have different flavor profiles. In other words,  I don't think I'd advise making this pie with turnips instead of rutabaga!

Unadorned cooked rutabaga has a satisfyingly buttery flavor, so while this pie has a lot in common with pumpkin pie the flavor has subtle caramel overtones that interact with the pie spices in a different and interesting way. And while pie is never a diet food, this adaptation, using no-calorie granlulated sweetener instead of sugar (and cut into reasonably-sized portions) is a modest 196 calories and 18 grams of carbohydrates -- not bad for such a rich-tasting dessert. (Of course, adding whipped cream runs the total up at a rate of 8 calories per tablespoon.)

Rutabaga Pie

Print recipe only.

Makes 14 wedges, about 2" at the wide end. 


For the crust: 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 pound cold butter (1 stick), cut in half-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons icewater

For the filling: 

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked & puréed rutabaga 
  • 1 cup granulated no-calorie sweetener, such as Splenda
  • 1/4 cup light molasses
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a fork
  • 1 1/4 cups light cream
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped cream for topping (optional).


Make the crust: 

1. Place the flour, butter, shortening, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process briefly, until mixture looks like coarse corn meal. 

2. Add the ice water and pulse processor a few times until dough begins to clump. Do not overprocess.

3. Place the dough in a plastic food storage bag. Working through the bag, quickly press the dough into a ball, then refrigerate dough for at least an hour. (May be frozen at this point for future use.)

4. Roll the ball out to about 1/8" thick on a floured board. Butter the pie plate and line with the dough, trimming the edges even with the top of the pie plate. Refrigerate or freeze if not using immediately. 

Make the filling:

1. Place all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a spoon or a hand mixer until well-blended. 

2. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell. (If the pie shell was refrigerated or frozen, allow it to come to room temperature before filling.)

3. Bake in a preheated 450º oven 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350º and bake until the filling is set (tester comes out clean), about 40 minutes. 

Allow to rest at least five minutes before slicing and serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. May be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated. (Allow pie to come to room temperature or heat gently in the oven before serving.) 

Nutritional Estimate: Per slice (2" at wide end, about 14 per recipe). Per serving: 196  Calories; 18 g Total Carbs; 0 g Dietary Fiber; 5 g Sugars; 12 g Fat; 58 mg Cholesterol; 201 mg Sodium; 3 g Protein. Weight Watchers: 5 points.

Print recipe only.


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Steve---I'm glad that you are back (I was beginning to get worried). Can you tell me what rutabaga is called in Australia? I'm not sure it corresponds with what is sold here as 'yellow turnip'. I'm a big fan of your blog---don't leave it so long next time!

Hi Gregory....thanks for stopping by...someone posted this about the various names for rutabaga in the Wikipedia: ""Rutabaga" (from dialectal Swedish rotabagge, literally, "root ram") is the common American and Canadian term for the plant, while "swede" is the preferred term used in much of England, Wales, Australia and New Zealand. In the U.S., the plant is also known as "Swedish turnip" or "yellow turnip", while in Ireland, it is referred to as "turnip". The name turnip is also used in parts of Northern and Midland England, Cornwall and Atlantic Canada. In Scots, it is either "tumshie" or "neep",[1] and Brassica rapa var. rapa, termed a "turnip" in southern English usage, instead is called a "white turnip" as in Ireland. Scots will refer to both types by the generic term "neep" (from Old English næp, Latin napus).[1][2] Some will also refer to both types as just "turnip" (the word is also derived from næp).[2] In North-East England, turnips and swedes are colloquially called "snaggers" (archaic). They should not be confused with the large beet known as a mangelwurzel. Its common name in Sweden is kålrot (literally "cabbage root"), similarly in Denmark it is known as kålroe, while inNorway it has usurped the name of kålrabi in addition to being known as kålrot." 

Of course, as it is from Wikipedia the accuracy isn't guaranteed...

Best, Stephen

Can't say that I've ever tried rutabaga, though the fact that the pie looks similar to pumpkin, I may just have to hunt some down.

I'm a fan of the rutabaga, too. I love it plain with a little butter and salt and pepper and of course, in stews and soups. Oops, forgot one: roasted! I will make this pie in secret and spring it on my family this next weekend. Diane

Stephen, many thanks indeed. The humble swede---who would have thought? And 'neeps': yes, coming originally from a small Scottish settlement at the bottom of New Zealand, I'm familiar with this noble root. Many years ago, when studying in Belgium, I expressed some enthusiasm for pumpkin, turnips and swede: my friends were horrified---fit, they said, only as fodder for animals. Next time I visit, I'll take your recipe with me. Many thanks!

i've never had rutabaga before! we don't have it in Australia. this looks delicious!

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