Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cushaw Squash Pie


Looks like pumpkin pie, smells like pumpkin pie, but it's NOT your average, run of the mill pumpkin pie. What is it?


It's a Cushaw Squash Pie! The Cushaw (or Kershaw) Squash, sometimes called a Tennessee Sweet Potato, is an heirloom winter squash grown mostly in the southern United States. It's hardy, heat tolerant and resistant to squash borers, which makes it easier to grow without pesticides. If you're careful about where you grow it, the seeds can be saved from one year to the next, ensuring a steady supply of this versatile squash that can be used for both sweet and savory dishes.


Many southern cooks prefer the sweet yellow flesh of the Cushaw for making pumpkin pies. After tasting this pie that I made from a recipe found  on Chickens in the Road  I'm not surprised. The squash pie had  the same warm spices as pumpkin pie, but had a milder taste and silky texture. Actually, you can use Cushaw squash in any recipe that calls for pumpkin. Next up for me? Probably Cushaw Butter, which I've heard is a family tradition in parts of Tennessee. 

I really hope you're able to find one of these heirloom treasures at your local farmer's market. I'm saving the seeds from mine so I'll be sure to have more next year!



Prepare the Squash:
Preparing the squash is easy. Wash it, cut it in half, remove the seeds and stringy part, and bake it cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. (350 degrees for about an hour and fifteen minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork) After scooping out the baked flesh, mash it well or put through a Foley food mill. Proceed as you would with any other pumpkin recipe.  (The seeds can be roasted like you would roast pumpkin seeds.)

Spiced Cushaw Pie
recipe adapted from Chickens in the Road
You'll need:
Your favorite pastry for a nine inch pie 
2 cups prepared squash (or pumpkin)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 Tablespoon melted butter
Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together beaten eggs, evaporated milk and vanilla. In a large bowl, combine squash, melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Add milk mixture to squash mixture and mix until well combined. Pour into pie pan (9 inch) lined with an uncooked pastry shell . (Use your favorite pie crust recipe.) Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (lower half of oven) for an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Mine took a bit longer.) Chill and serve. Keep refrigerated.


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62 comments:

  1. It does indeed looks like pumpkin. Did you grow them yourself? The pie looks delicious! Perfect dessert for the family.

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  2. What a unique recipe! And you garnished your slice of pie so beautifully...it looked like it should have been on the cover of a magazine. What a great new squash to be introduced to!

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  3. Lovely, lovely! I've never heard of Cushaw squash; they sure are beautiful. If it tastes like pumpkin pie, it would be hit here.
    Rita

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  4. Looks great and I'm sure tastes even better!

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  5. Oh my gosh, I hope I can find one, too!! I'll definitely be on the lookout, I've never seen one before. Perfect cool weather pie...thank u for introducing me to the cushaw! And thanks for sharing it w/ the hns hop this week...love it!

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  6. What a lovely pie and pretty squash! I hope I can find one at the market this weekend. I love how you can save the seeds for planting.

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  7. Thanks for sharing, I've never seen this type of squash, missed it on my trip to Tennessee, will have to look for it next time! Beautiful pictures, you've inspired me to make a pie:)

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  8. I have never seen cushaw squash before...the pie looks gorgeous!

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  9. That is a great looking pie. I have seen this kind of squash before but never tried it. Now I am very interested.

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  10. Did you grow those squash? They're absolutely gorgeous! My grocery store has introduced me to some new types of squash lately. I was happy to see varieties beyond butternut and acorn, as much as I love those, too!

    My grandmother has been asking for a squash pie. It's one of her favities. This looks delicious! I love squash as dessert. =)

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  11. I've never heard of Cushaw squash before, or maybe I've just never known that was its name, haha! Regardless, this pie looks fantastic! Just the thing for Thanksgiving dessert. Thanks for sharing this, Betty!

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  12. This looks great. A nice change from pumpkin pie. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Please hand me a fork! This looks delicious. I'll look for the squash at Saturday's market. Our favorite stall there always has varied and interesting squash.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  14. I've never seen nor heard of that squash (but then I'm from the midwest) I'm for anything that can substitute for pumpkin. The pie looks delicious!

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  15. Cushaw squash is a new one on me. Now I'll look for it in the market. It looks, after you cut it open, rather like butternut squash, but it sounds as though it tastes like pumpkin.

    The pie looks delish and I will definitely look for this squash. Love to try new things!

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  16. I've never seen a Cushaw squash before either!

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  17. I haven't seen this variety of squash at the farmers market. I'll have to look for it. It feels like fall here and I made a pumpkin pie yesterday. I would like to make the filling from scratch if I can find a good squash.

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  18. I've seen this squash before but wasn't sure what to do with it. Thanks to you and your great post I will have to try Cushaw squash this year since my husband loves pumpkin pie :o)

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  19. Now you've made me curious about this type of squash. The pie looks wonderful and I love the promise of a smoother texture with the use of the cushaw. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  20. Wow.... what a great post!!!! Now I'm a woman on a mission to find the Cushaw Squash.

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  21. Next time I'm at the farmers' market I'll have to look for this variety so I can taste the difference in a pie. It certainly sounds wonderful!

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  22. I love trying out different varieties of squash. This looks wonderful! My husband... being a farmer always appreciates these things too. Would love to get some of the seed to try growing it up here in Wisconsin - Looks delicious!

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  23. I see these squash all the time at our local pumpking patch. Now I know what to do with them!

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  24. How cool is that squash! I have never seen one. Time to pay attention at the farmer's market. Thanks for sharing.

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  25. Wow, this sounds delicious and a great variation to pumpkin. I've never seen this squash before, but I'll be on the lookout now:)

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  26. WooHoo! I saw these the other day and wondered how you cooked them - now I know!! thanks for linking to the hearth and soul hop!

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  27. Oh wow, a squash that I've never had before. I think I could pretty safely say that I could eat winter squash every single day. Your pie looks beyond tempting. Thanks for linking up with the Hearth and Soul hop this week :)

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  28. Great info on this squash. I have never heard of it. I hope I can find it here. Your pie sounds wonderful:)

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  29. Now I will have my eye out for these. Wonder if they sell them in Texas. I know I would love it.

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  30. Looks so yummy. I have never heard of it, but it sure is fun looking.

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  31. I spend the majority of my time in the fall seeking out new and interesting winter squash! I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for this. I love the sound of this pie though! I am definitely bookmarking this recipe even if I have to use plain old pumpkins for it!

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  32. This looks crazy good! Never heard of it before and will be on the look out for it for sure!! Love the blog-I'm a new follower;)

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  33. Love the recipe, thanks for sharing. A favorite at grandma's house growing up.

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  34. It sounds and looks absolutely delicious ♥

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  35. Hitting the farmers market today, so I'll keep my eye out for crushaw squash. The pie look fabulous.
    Mimi

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  36. I have never heard of a cushaw squash, but it sounds like something I would love. I am all about everything pumpkin, so naturally I would be all over this pie :) with a hot cup of coffee of course!

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  37. This looks so perfect for autumn. I love this. Its great to also use a different squash. Makes things interesting. Yumm!

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  38. Without your title, I would have definitely mistaken this for pumpkin pie! I love your whip cream garnish...it adds so much to presentation and I am sure flavor as well :)

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  39. Wow, I've never heard of a cushaw but it sounds fantastic! I wonder if I asked a greengrocer here, if they would be able to get it in? :)

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  40. I used to work at a market that carried so many great varieties of squash in the fall and winter. I really miss it! Your pie looks amazing!

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  41. Yum!This looks so delicious.I saw your blog from the foodie blog roll and I like what you have here.if you won't mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

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  42. Your pie looks excellent and I could go for a slice right now! Baking the squash yourself, reminds me of a neighbor years ago who did that. Only she baked the seeds and stringy stuff and threw the pulp in the garbage. Made a pie and then called me over and asked what she did wrong. I cracked up!!! She had just gotten a master's degree but definitely didn't know her way around the kitchen! You did a great job and I'm sure it was delicious!

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  43. I would have thought pumpkin too!! what a great squash, I have not seen those in this area, I would love to try them! You do know I love anything squash related!
    thanks for sharing your creation with us!

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  44. Pumpkin pie is my absolute favorite, and I love all types of squash, so this recipe is definitely for me! Sounds delicious :)

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  45. You know, I keep trying different pumpkin pies and I keep making one or two every year, but despite adding various spices and rum, I still just don't like it (the rum version was the most popular amongst my friends). I do however adore pumpkin soup and I think these squash would go great in that. I'll definitely have to keep an eye out for them.

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  46. What a beautiful pie to kick start Autumn! Gorgeous!

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  47. how fun! For as much as I love pumpkin pie I'm sure I'd love this!

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  49. Oh, i do hope you can join in the Copycat Club whenever you getr a chance :)

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  50. Great pie! Don't you just love the fall desserts!

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  51. Betty...love the plate contrast with the pie.

    I'll be hopefully soon going to a squash farm...and I'll have to look out for this particular variety...sounds interesting.

    Looking forward to your Cushaw Butter recipe ;o)

    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

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  52. Sounds delish! I love makeovers of old classics.

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  53. methinks one cushaw could supply you with enough flesh to fill all the pies you prepare for the season! great idea--we have 2 of those monsters in our cellar right now. :)

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  54. Goodness! I will be on the lookout for this squash from here on! I am a pumpkin pie fan like none other and I would love to try this! I don't think it grows in Texas, but I will check it out!

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  55. I wonder if you could use any squash with this recipe? It's got me thinking now... :)

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  56. wow! a squash dessert! i had never even thought of this! looks yum! LOVE YOUR BLOG!

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  57. Glad I stumbled upon your blog (thanks google!). My parents live in TN and my Dad grew a TON of these this year. He kept referring to them as "potato pumpkins"... He gave me 4 huge ones and I had no idea how to prepare them or what to cook with them. Now I have a better idea of what to do with them! Thanks for your blog. :-)

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  58. We live in southwest Missouri and planted a few cushaw green stripe squash and they are going crazy! This is the easiest squash I've ever grown besides yellow neck. We had to pick one that got deformed and tonight we ate it grilled with hamburger and green beans from the garden. It was delicious! If you can't find the green cushaw anywhere, grow it yourself. It's fun and very satisfying to eat what you grow. We are definately growing this again!

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  59. We got a Cushaw from our co-op, here in Arizona. They didn't know what is was and asked some local Native Americans. They said the name in their native tongue and when asked what that translated to they replied, "Squash!" So they named it Supai Squash. Too funny!
    I found out from the superintendent of agriculture at our county fair that it is a Mexican Cushaw. It looks just like the Cushaw on the right in your picture.
    It was a bear to cut! My 10 daughter said it smells like a cantaloupe mixed with a pumpkin.
    I plan to toast some of the seeds and save some for planting in the Spring.
    I can hardly wait to cook it and make pie with it for Thanksgiving in 2 days.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  60. My mother used to make wonderful Kershaw (Cushaw) pies. They are wonderful.

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Thanks for stopping by scrambled hen fruit! I appreciate all of your comments and look forward to reading them.

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