Cushaw Pie

Cushaw or Pumpkin Pie
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  • Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 110 mins
  • Yield: 8 Servings

A cushaw is a type of crookneck squash or gourd, and it makes an excellent replacement for pumpkin in pies. You may grow cushaw squash in your garden or find them at farmers markets, especially in the Southern and Appalachian states. It has a pale yellow-orange flesh and a mild flavor. As a winter squash, it is ripe in the fall and can be stored for longer periods until you are ready to use it.

Pumpkin can be used in this pie, but you just may find that cushaw is a uniquely tasty new replacement. Give it a try. What you won't find (at least not easily) is commercially canned cushaw, so you will need to start from the raw ingredient.

You will need 2 pounds of raw cushaw to start with to produce the 2 1/2 cups you will need once it is cooked and mashed. As cushaws can be large, one squash may be enough to make a pie, or even two. You can freeze any leftover cooked cushaw to use for future pies.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups cushaw (cooked, mashed)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 pie shell (unbaked)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Using a sharp knife, slice off the neck of the squash and then cut it in half. Slice the bottom section vertically and scoop out the seeds and guts. You can discard the seeds or save them to roast.

  3. Bake the cut cushaw in the oven at 350 F for one hour. When the flesh is soft, you can remove it from the skin to mash.

  4. Drain the cooked cushaw thoroughly.

  5. Mash the cooked flesh with a potato masher for a rustic texture. Or, you can puree it in a food processor or blender for a smoother texture.

  6. Stir together 2 1/2 cups mashed cushaw and cream; add beaten eggs. Mix well and add sugar, flour, salt, nutmeg, and allspice; mix well to blend. Blend in lemon extract and butter.

  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared unbaked pie shell and bake at 450 F for 10 minutes.

  8. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake for about 40 minutes longer.

  9. When the pie is set as tested with a toothpick, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack.

  10. Cut and serve the pie and enjoy!

Serve the pie with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Refrigerate any leftover pie to eat within a few days. You can also freeze leftover pie if you need to keep it longer.

Tip

You need to be sure the cooked cushaw is well-drained or the pie will be watery. One trick is to cook the squash a day ahead. Place it in a colander over a collection bowl in the refrigerator overnight so it has plenty of time to drain.