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Today's post will be educational as well as delicious! As you can imagine, there is a story behind how this post came to be. Here it is.
My husband and I were watching PBS the other night. There was a special on about Fall in New England. As part of the special, we learned that when the pilgrims made pie, they didn't have much flour at the time for a pie crust, so they would bake custard right inside of the pumpkin. Then, they would slice the pumpkin in pie shaped wedges. Their pie had a spiced milk custard in it and the pumpkin was still just like the squash that it is and you would get some custard and pumpkin all at the same time when you took a bite.
Well, loving history like I do, I decided that I needed to try this method and of course take it a step further. Why not put actual pumpkin custard inside the pumpkin? So, I went to the store and not only did I find pumpkins for pie, but some other really great squash that I knew would work as a substitute for pumpkin if I wanted. Click on or hover over the pictures for descriptions.
Then I saw the Turban Squash! I was sold on that guy! He just looked ready to be my pie!
The directions on the Turban squash said to bake it at 350 degrees for an hour. I decided to try that without cleaning it out first. I did clean out the smaller pumpkins and baked them without seeds. What happened is the pumpkins and carnival squash were done after around an hour. The Turban Squash took 2 hours.
Here is how the Carnival and Turban squashes looked after being baked. The Carnival squash browned a little more than I would have liked, but it is okay. In retrospect, I could have taken them out a little sooner, I will explain why in a moment.
That is the Turban Squash after I cut the top off of course. It was so nice and tender inside and the seeds pulled out very easily. Then, I scooped out the flesh into a bowl to use as the "pumpkin" puree.
At this point, I decided to fill the shells 3 ways. In the little pumpkins, I used the vanilla custard. This is when I learned that I had baked the pumpkins a little too long because they developed leaks in the bottom and I lost some of the custard. This is the recipe I used:
You can see in this picture that some of the custard leaked out, so it didn't end up as full as I had hoped. I also feel like it had baked a little too long. So, this is something you will need to watch, but this was an experiment and it was okay. It tasted pretty good anyway.
In the Carnival Squash, I decided to make Maddy's Vegan Pie. She liked it, even though she doesn't usually like squash. I thought it was cute to serve it with the lid on.
Oh! And one thing I forgot to mention in the recipes is that I put a pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven when I baked these.
For the Turban Squash Pie, I used the squash puree and followed our normal pumpkin puree recipe to make the filling. You can find that recipe here. Here is how that pie turned out. If you hover or click on the pictures, there are descriptions.
One thing I wanted to mention about the Turban Squash is that I think it would be an awesome squash to bake a stew in! You wouldn't need to bake it as long as the pie had to bake and getting that bite of squash mixed in with your stew would be delicious. Doesn't that sound like a great Fall dish? I may have to try that and let you know how it goes.
In the end, this was an interesting, educational and time consuming project. I think it would be great to use this method with kids as part of a Thanksgiving history lesson. Also, it was really fun discovering a new, super cool looking squash like the Turban and a cute one like the Carnival! But, when all is said and done, I am really thankful that I have the flour and the means to make pumpkin pie the way we do in our day! Remember, the custard recipes I have given you can also be baked in a custard dish or regular pie shell.
Speaking of pie, if you haven't yet gotten your copy of For the Love of Pie, you can still get a 20% discount through tomorrow with code PIESPECIAL! Don't miss out, because after tomorrow the price goes back to normal. In this special e-book all about pie, you will learn how to bake not only Pumpkin Pie, but many other pies not already published on this blog. Some are original pies, invented by us that we are sure you will enjoy! Be sure to check it out!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!