Squash Pie

As I’ve mentioned before, my great-grandmother – referred to as GG – was a pretty amazing cook and baker. I love it that I’ve found most of her recipes that have been passed down. Today, when I was thumbing through them I stumbled across one I’m pretty sure I’ve never noticed before.

Squash Pie

I actually laughed out loud. I thought, “Is this a joke?”

I mean – who ever heard of Squash Pie?

Right?

Not me.

You’d think they’d have covered that in baking school – for historicity if nothing else!

But nope – this one is totally new for me.

And just because it’s unique.

And old.

And it’s that time of year when folks have squash nearly coming out their ears.

And in my GG’s own hand, I want to share it with you.

Like most of her recipes – there’s no verbosity going on here. What you see is what you get. Do with it what you will!

GG’s Squash Pie

Ingredients
1 Unbaked pie crust
2 cups Squash, cooked, strained
3/4 cups Granulated or brown sugar
2 cups Heavy whipping cream
3 large Eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Mixed spices
  1. Mix the above and fill pie crust.
  2. Bake.

Notes:

This is one of my Great-Grandmother’s recipes.

Seriously – that’s all she wrote!

Obviously – she knew what she used to do and just jotted down some basic info. For the less accustomed to what was the norm of her day – I’m gonna give a whirl at what I think was supposed to be conveyed here.

I would bake off that pie crust. Here’s how:

  • To avoid a soggy, still-raw bottom crust, bake the crust before pouring in the filling.
  • Line the pie crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper and enough dry beans, rice or pie weights to come most of the way up the sides.
  • Bake at 450 F until the edges are lightly browned and the walls of the crust have lost their raw look, from 8 to 12 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the crust. 
  • Remove the pie shell from the oven, and carefully remove the paper or foil full of beans. 
  • Prick with fork to avoid air bubbles. 
  • Use an egg wash to create a seal: lightly beat an egg with a tablespoon of cold water or milk, and brush the sides and bottom of the crust with the egg wash.
  • Return the crust to the oven and bake an additional two to three minutes, until the egg wash is dry and golden.

A nice insider tip is that custard-y type pies often turn out a bit better (and less weepy) if the custard is made the night before and allowed to set – covered – in the refrigerator. With a squash flavor at play here, I’m thinking I’d skip that idea!

Using the whip attachment on my mixer, I’d start by mixing that squash until it was a fine puree. Still debating whether or not to peel those squash before cooking or not – but I think I would. It’s the whole color thing… I guess that’s a personal call kinda thing. Next, I’d add the sugar and beat it until the sugar as dissolved. Next, add the eggs, beating until they are well incorporated.

About those spices… I’d throw in some cinnamon, nutmeg, and maybe a little allspice. But honestly – you could go wild here, couldn’t you? Add the spices and the salt.

Then, gradually add the heavy whipping cream. The idea here is to let it build some body – incorporating air as you go.

When everything is all together, pour the custard mixture into the pie shell. An option? Try adding a layer of cookie crumbs in the bottom of the pre-baked crust – it adds delicious flavor–and the crumbs can also absorb extra moisture in the finished pie.

Bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

You may well need to protect the pie crust edges from becoming too browned with a pie crust shield. (There are some nice silicone ones out on the market now.)

Finishing: There are a few options. You could add some marshmallows to the top in the last half of the baking time. Or top it with some whipping cream – adding a bit of almond extract or vanilla extract to give it some depth of flavor.

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4 thoughts on “Squash Pie

  1. My mom made one like this when I was growing up. She used Banana Squash, which is a hard winter squash. The final product was similiar to pumpkim pie.

    • Really?! I’m thinking maybe this kind of thing never made it to the West Coast maybe? I know your Mom was amazing at using EVERYTHING and had such a great connection with classic, historical, down-home cooking. She was so cool. Miss her!

  2. This is exactly the same as a pumpkin pie. And pumpkin is a squash, right?

    Back when pie was a daily staple in the kitchen just about everything went into it according to the season and what was available. Really everything (mincemeat anyone? REAL mincemeat!). When folks were out of fruit they would use eggs, or raisins or squash or sweet potatoes…the list goes on. All of them delicious!

    • Right! Of course! Funny how in my own mind when you say squash I think: yellow crookneck, or zucchini, or romanesco, or grey zucchini – cause that’s what I love. I simply can’t fathom preparing the veggie that I *adore* sauteed up with butter and mediterranean sea salt and fresh cracked pepper in a sweet pie! Shudder!

      But of course – it really is a pumpkin pie with a different type of squash, huh?!

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