Like anybody needs another pumpkin pie recipe…I promise this is a little different.
Different as in what do you do when your hubby is tired of 500# of winter squash sitting in your living room.
I have found over the years I can buy a little more time if I bake a pie or two. I’m actually getting tired of the dogs jumping over the squash and throwing their chew bones in the middle of the pile and playing cucurbit and seek. They just think I have brought the garden in, and gamboling inside on a rainy day is right up their alley.
These are our Sweet Meat winter squash. Our pumpkin substitute that keeps until May without any processing. That’s why we like them so much. Any vegetable I can store without processing is a winner in my book.
The squash are just curing here in the livingroom, because it is warmer. Soon they will be moved to our unheated upstairs, where it is cool and dry. Ideal squash storage area.
On average, we use at least a 15# squash per week, mostly as a vegetable, but sometimes for desserts. Nothing goes to waste, we eat the seeds or they go to the milk cow, the dogs eat the cooked skin, and we eat the flesh. We save the seeds from the longest keeping, best tasting squash in the spring.
To have it on hand all week, I steam half the squash at a time, and store it in the fridge. This way it is cooked and ready to heat and eat for a quick lunch, or dinner vegetable, or… .
I do steam it, because I like it moist, and it takes less electricity or wood than baking it. To make a pie, the texture is better steamed.
Here is the difference – the praline filling before the pumpkin squash pie filling. Placed in the bottom of the pie shell and baked for 10 minutes, then cooled while you are making your custard, and baked again.
Praline baked and cooling.
I got in a good habit in Home Ec in high school, having everything ready before making a recipe, but I had kind of let this good habit slip. When I started homeschooling, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to teach my daughter, not only the basics of cooking, but also math, and reading. To make it easy for a child, I would have her measure everything and put each ingredient in a pile so she could see where she was in the recipe. It helps me too, sometimes I have to do recipes in small snippets of time. Even if I measure this out hours before I actually make the pie, I can easily look in the bowl and check to see if I forgot something or measured incorrectly.
Sweet meat squash doesn’t have strings to speak of, so the egg beater will take care of what little there is. The strings will wrap around the beaters and can be rinsed off before adding other ingredients. I just puree it as I needed.
Filling ready to bake. The foil is to protect the edge during the second baking.
Not bad for squash pie.
Here is the recipe for enough filling for two pies, and praline for one. It is rich, and sweet, a little goes a long way. Pie crust is pretty subjective so I didn’t include a recipe for crust.
PUMPKIN PRALINE PIE praline for one 8″ pie, filling for two 8″ pies
Praline for one 8″ pie
2 T softened butter
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans or ?
Preheat oven to 450*F. Cream butter and brown sugar. Blend in pecans. Press firmly into unbaked pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes, watching for so crust does not puff up or slip. If it does puff, prick the puffs with a fork and pat the crust back into place with the back of the fork. Cool before filling.
Pumpkin pie filling enough for two 8″ pies
4 c pureed squash or pumpkin
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t cloves
2 eggs, beaten
2 c whole milk
Preheat oven to 400*F.
Combine pureed pumpkin and dry ingredients. Mix well. Add eggs, milk and mix well. Pour into pie shells and bake for about an hour. Depending on your oven, the pie may be done sooner. When a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, the pie is done.
This filling can be made a day in advance and refrigerated. I use this for pumpkin custard without the crust or praline too.