During this time of year markets and farms are brimming with gourds and squashes of all shapes and sizes. One such squash that I had never seen before is the humble, Hubbard squash. This peculiar grayish blue squash is big and oddly shaped. Most Hubbards typically grow to a size of 5-30 pounds! These big guys are great for decorating a spooky door step, or even a rustic fall porch. They add just the right amount of creepy to any fall themed decor.
The other amazing thing about the humble hubbard is that they are among the BEST tasting squashes in all the pumpkin patch, even surpassing the popular Butternut! The tricky thing is finding how to safely prepare them for eating. Finding a knife big enough to slice into the squash is a feat on its own. Recently I decided to use the hubbard to make pumpkin pies! I had heard that they add a unique freshness to pies, and even a good amont of natural sweetness. I simply had to give it a try! I used the recipe below but substituted the pumpkin puree for pureed roasted hubbard squash. Included is my process of roasting the squash. It was very simple once I got the gourd open. Full disclosure I had a child that wanted to “help” with the process and as he lifted the heavy squash he dropped it and it nicely split in two, so if all else fails and you can’t get the thing cut open, simply drop it and hope it lands in two or three nice pieces!
How to roast hubbard squash:
- Choose a squash between 5 and 10 pounds
- Wash the whole squash well with warm water, then dry.
- preheat the oven to 425*
- Carefully cut the squash lengthwise. (Or hand it to someone with butter fingers and have them drop it!)
- Scoop out the seeds and the majority of the stringy flesh.
- Rub entire squash pieces with olive oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet
- Place baking sheet into preheated oven and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. It is done when the skin starts browning and a fork pierces all the way through easily.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Once cool, scrape all orange flesh from the skin.
At this point I went ahead and pureed the squash in a blender to a smooth consistency. The flavor is amazing! The roasting adds just a hint of smokiness to the puree. The recipe I used called for 2 ⅔ cups of puree for 1 pie. My 8 pound squash yielded about 5 cups of puree, with was just about perfect for 2 pies. I also substituted a store bought pie crust to make it just that much easier.
The result is a beautifully dark and orange pie full of flavor and character. The hubbard adds a little extra freshness and the roasting process created a subtle smokey depth of flavor unlike any other pie I’ve ever had. If you are like me and always wanting to try new things but also would like to keep it fairly simple, this is your project! All told, it took my approximately 2 hours from start to finish. Cleaning the squash was simple, cutting it (or dropping it) was simple and then the pie recipe itself was very very simple. I would highly recommend trying this pie for your holiday celebrations!