Squash Pie and Pumpkin Pie
The two pies are sometimes listed as separate recipes and other times as one recipe. There is no clear delineation in the use of spices with either squash or pumpkin pies. The spices listed: Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Allspice, Cloves, Mace, and Cassia (2. a A tree, Cinnamomum cassia, of tropical Asia, having bark similar to cinnamon but of inferior quality. b The bark of this tree used as a spice.) (American Heritage Dictionary 1985) Cassia was listed as a spice in a “very old recipe” from a Vermont cookbook originally published in 1946. There is no right or wrong combination of spices. Many recipes call for Brown sugar instead of White sugar. Some call for molasses and sugar. Pumpkin pie recipes are more common than squash pie recipes. Squash is a common dinner vegetable whereas pumpkin is not it is a common pie filling. Each has its own distinct taste.
Fresh Squash and Pumpkin
We cook squash for dinner. Pumpkin is another kind of squash, cooked similarly. 1 ½ cups of cooked squash or pumpkin equals a can of squash or pumpkin. Food blenders and processors mash and mix squash and pumpkin the easy way as well as cutting up the stringy fibers. As for taste, it is always better fresh.
New England Squash Pie
Fresh Blue Hubbard Squash
How to identify the squash, light blue colored skin, and orange flesh (see photograph).
To buy Blue Hubbard: available late September through November. Many supermarkets cut these large squash into smaller chunks, farmstands offer whole hubbard squashes.
To cook, if whole cut in half and scrape out seeds, cut into two inch wide pieces, boil or steam until soft, test for softness with fork. Cool slightly and scrape flesh off rind, mash
Preheat oven 425 degrees (to start)
1½ cups cooked squash
½ cup Sugar or (¼ cup white sugar & ¼ cup brown sugar)
1 teaspoon Ginger
½ teaspoon Nutmeg
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
2 eggs (beaten)
1½ cups Milk
Mix in a blender (or food processor) half cup milk, eggs, sugar, spices, blend well; add squash and one cup milk, mix until well blended. Pour into 9” unbaked pie crust. Bake 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Turn oven down to 375 degrees bake 45 minutes longer. To test for doneness, insert a cold butter knife. When knife comes out clean, the pie is cooked.
Recipe comes from McCormak (Maine) “One Pie” canned squash, Circa 1980’s
New England Pumpkin Pie
Small Sugar Pumpkin (whole)
High in sugar and less stringy than large jack-o-lantern pumpkins
To buy: available late September through late October at supermarkets and farmstands
To cook: cut in half, scrape out seeds and stringy soft inner flesh, cut into pieces and place skin side up in steamer, steam 20 minutes or until flesh is soft, test with fork for softness. Cool slightly scrape flesh off rind, mash.
Preheat oven 450 degrees
1½ cups cooked Pumpkin
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Ginger
½ teaspoon Nutmeg
1½ cups Milk
1 cup Sugar
1/8 cup Molasses
Mix in blender or food processor in following order: ½ cup milk, sugar, 2 eggs, cornstarch, spices and molasses, blend well; add 1 cup milk and mashed pumpkin, blend well. Pour into a 9” inch unbaked pie crust. Bake 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Turn oven down to 350 degrees bake 50 minutes longer. To test for doneness, insert a cold butter knife. When knife comes out clean, the pie is cooked.
Recipe comes from McCormak (Maine) “One Pie” canned pumpkin, Circa 1980’s
“Mrs. Gardiner’s 1763” (Boston, MA) recipes, “American Cookery, 1796” by Amelia Simmons (Hartford, CT) each have a recipe for Pumpkin Pie with apples. Mrs. Gardiner layered slices of raw pumpkin and slices of apple between layers of sugar in a pie crust and baked it. Amelia Simmons 33 years later offers a Crookneck or Winter Squash Pudding in which the squash and apples are cooked before being mixed together. To the squash – apple mixture is added dry bread crumbs, milk, rose-water, wine, eggs, nutmeg, salt and sugar, one spoon flour and bake. To the pudding which could be adapted for pumpkins, potatoes and yams, is added currents (similar to raisins) or whortleberries. It is unclear if the pudding is put in a pie crust or baked in a dish without a pie crust. Pompkin is spelled out as it sounds. Pumpkin recipe #1 called for cooked pumpkin, cream, eggs, sugar, mace, nutmeg and ginger are added before it is placed in a pie crust. Pumpkin recipe #2 called for cooked pumpkin, milk, eggs, molasses, allspice, and ginger mixed together and baked in a pie crust.
The raisin is seen again in a recipe from “The Pocumtuc Housewife, 1805” (Deerfield, MA – Connecticut River Valley). This little domestic book has three pumpkin and squash recipes. Squash Pie with Raisins calls for cooked squash, egg, sugar, flour, milk, cinnamon, and raisins. Pumpkin and Squash Pies for common family eating had eggs whereas Pumpkin Pies without Eggs were “decent eating, especially for farm hands and growing boys, who care more for quantity than for delicacy. Flour was substituted for the eggs, and molasses was added to the sugar and extra spices were added. The texture of the pudding may not have been as smooth as the other two pies, but the flavor of this pie was better than the common family pie or pie with raisins.
From this time on, no pumpkin or squash recipes call for apple or raisins. The next change comes in the texture of the pudding filling. It is lighten by whipping egg whites and mixing them in with the rest of the mixture. This created a chiffon-like filling. It occurs in the 1930’s.