We had one more bag of frozen winter squash left from last year's harvest that we wanted to eat, so that means it is time for a pie. Even with the incredible heat and drought we had last summer, our Cushaw and Buttercup squash did pretty good at
the end of the season. We kept many of them in storage for much of the winter, then we peeled, boiled and froze several quarts. This is our last quart. Since we didn't really plan ahead before we decided it was a good day for pie, we thawed it out in a sink of hot water while I made the pie crust.
I searched online for a recipe specific to Cushaw squash and found several that were almost what I wanted, so I combined the best of the ingredients and came up with this recipe. It calls for a single pie crust.
My pie crust recipe is the same one my mother taught me to use when I was in high school.
In my spare time as a teenager living in the country, I decided to type (on a manual typewriter!) my favorite recipes in a booklet format so I would have my own cookbook when I left home. Well, my booklet never really materialized, but I am still using my typewritten pages with my old favorite recipes.
To make the pie crust you need:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening
about 2 tbsp. water
First, dust 2 pieces of wax paper (about the size of your pie plate) with flour.
Mix the salt with the flour, then cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until it is consistent and crumbly.
Sprinkle in a tablespoon of water at a time and stir with a fork until a ball forms. Use as little water as possible for a flakier crust.
Put the ball of dough between the two pieces of waxed paper and flatten. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin a little larger than your pie plate. I have had this rolling pin for about 30 years. Frank made it in a woodshop class he taught. It was originally going to have handles like most traditional rolling pins, but never quite got that far. I am glad. I really like it just the way it is. I have tried one of the others and I don't think they work near as well. Maybe I am just a little biased, but for me, it is perfect.
Slowly peel the top layer of waxed paper off. Don't be
surprised if the dough wants to stick to the paper somewhat. Just
gently get it started all across one side and peel back slowly.
Turn the dough over with the waxed paper side up and center it on the pie plate. Now repeat the same process of peeling off the final piece of waxed paper. Let the crust settle into the pie plate as you go.
When my mom taught me how to make pie crust, the hardest part was learning to flute the edges, but I finally got it down. It isn't necessary, but it does make the pie look pretty. First, I tuck under the extra dough to give it an extra layer to flute. Then, squeeze the dough up between your fingers to form the scalloped looking edge.
I have a new copy of the old Betty Crocker Cookbook with
pictures that has a good explanation of making a pie crust. This is
another one of those books we have an extra of in case someone may need
Boy! I sure know how to dirty up a kitchen! Frank spent his time between taking pictures and washing dishes.
The pie filling is very easy. If you have fresh squash, peel it, take the seeds out and cut it in cubes. Boil it until it is soft enough to mash easily with a potato masher. Measure out 2 1/2 cups and you are in business for making a pie.
Grace and her husband have tried this pie and she says it is very similar to pumpkin pie. Frank and I don't care for traditional pumpkin pie, so I am not familiar with the ingredients. One of the things I like about this pie is the amount of our homegrown ingredients that go into it.
The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of cream, so I took out a couple of jars of milk and skimmed off some fresh cream.
I don't make our pies very sweet. I use 2/3 cup of brown sugar as the sweetener.
Melt and add
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. vanilla
I made one of these once thinking I had mixed it up well. When I went to serve it I thought I had not mashed the squash up well enough when I found a lump. It was a cooked egg yolk! Make sure you mix your ingredients well.
Pour into the pie crust and bake at 375 degrees on the lowest rack in the oven for 50-60 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean. This is the only recipe I have ever used that has me cook on the bottom rack. I was surprised.
These Lodge trivets were a great find. We use them frequently when we are canning. Now it awaits the pie.
Frank was going to test the pie with his finger. I told him I wouldn't recommend that.
This is what our Winter Squash Pie looks like when you
serve it up before it is completely cooled. It kind of oozes onto the
plate but tastes great!
From the looks of our winter squash crop this summer, we hope to enjoy more pies in the months to come. This is another easy recipe with many homegrown ingredients that we really enjoy.
Until next time - Fern