Sunday, January 6, 2013

How to Make an Easy Delicious Pumpkin or Squash Pie

My Grandma Summers Pumpkin Pie Recipe
This recipe holds special meaning to me.  It was my Grandma Summer's Pumpkin Pie Recipe written in her hand and well used over the decades. It is a cherished possession.

The funny thing is, what my family called "Pumpkin Pie" was not Pumpkin Pie at all.  It was "Green Striped Cushaw Squash" Pie.  Whenever I ate Pumpkin Pie at someone else's house, I thought it was just terrible...heavy, thick, overly spiced and not sweet enough. It wasn't until I was almost an adult that I finally learned what I had been eating all those years was not pumpkin pie, but squash pie. My reaction was probably similar to how most people react when they learn Santa is not real...shock, initial disbelief and a little anger. The only difference was I was about 16, not 6.

Grandma called it simply "Crookneck Squash" and I have since learned Green Striped Cushaw is indeed one variety of crookneck squash. You cannot buy canned Green Striped Cushaw Squash. You must buy the whole squash and work it up (see my previous post on working up squash). 

Working up your own squash, pumpkin or sweet potato (basically the all the same process) and making your own crust (see my previous post on how to make pie crust) is really what makes a good pie. It's the same difference as buying hard preservative laden store bought cookies versus soft, warm made from scratch sugar cookies straight from the oven. Or using sweet, melt in your mouth butter over the plastic concoction commonly referred to as margarine. It's the difference between  sun ripened berries you personally plucked over a rubbery processed fruit roll up.

Yes, buying a frozen Mrs. Smith pie is easier but is it really worth it? When was the last time someone praised you extensively for going the extra mile by wheeling your grocery cart over to the bakery section of the grocery store and hefting a pie into your cart? 

"Oh my goodness, Marge!  Did you push that cart by yourself? And picked up the pie off the shelf, too? I wish I had your ability!" 

Here is my Grandma's no fail pie recipe:

My Grandma always made this pie in her blender. I use my food processor.  Begin by adding 2 cups squash (or pumpkin or sweet potato if you insist). 

Add 1 cup sugar. 

Add 3/4 cup milk.

Add the following:
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon flour

Ready to mix.

It's never too early to teach the fine art of cooking. 

Once blended, the pie filling will look like this.  It is not thick.

Pour into a prepared unbaked pie crust. Bake at 425 degrees for about 50 minutes to an hour.  Pie is done when a knife inserted into middle comes out clean.

You can buy a fancy pie crust shield for about $5. I have no idea why I never have done so. I am cheap but usually not that cheap.  So, I always put aluminum foil around the edge of the pie to keep the exposed crust from burning. By this point in my life, I have probably used about $200 in aluminum foil for this purpose instead of investing $5 for a shield. Sometimes being too cheap costs you. 

The finished product was delicious. Add a dollop of whipped cream. This pie is worth the effort!

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited to make this pie. Sounds so good!!! Wish the recipe was all together though.. TY for sharing. :)