November 27, 2021

Cooking Our First Sweet Potato Squash

I promised to let you all know about the sweet potato winter squash I grew this year (see the comments of "Not Pumpkins"). Our first taste test was a pie for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin pie is supposed to be the tradition, but I prefer sweet potato or winter squash pie, so that's what I make instead.

I chose the largest of the small squashes for my pie. 

This small one weighed in at 4 lbs., 5 oz.

The outside color wasn't impressive, but the color inside the squash was nice.

It contained a good amount of flesh. I saved some of the seeds and then chopped and fed the pulp to the goats and chickens. 

Next came cooking. I've tried both the oven baking method and the steaming method for cooking pumpkin and winter squash. Since I usually manage to make a mess in the oven from seeping juices, I prefer the steaming method.

The bonus with steaming is that the water in the bottom pot collects some of the juices and color. So I always use it for something, even if it's just watering plants after it cools. This time, I used it to make a pot of split pea soup.

I let it cool after it was cooked. It scooped out easily and made a smooth puree with the help of my Foley food mill. I needed two cups for my recipe, which is exactly what I got.

I might as well include the recipe! It's an adaptation of the Betty Crocker cookbook "old-fashioned pumpkin pie." Mainly, I omit the evaporated milk or cream, because I find that fresh homemade pumpkin or squash puree is more liquidy than commercial canned pumpkin. 

Not Pumpkin Pie

  • 2 cups winter squash puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup unbleached sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Mix well and pour into a prepared, unbaked pie crust (my recipe is here).

Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 15 minutes, then 350°F (177°C) for 45 more minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool and serve with whipped cream or ice cream (traditionally, we like cinnamon ice cream).

How was it? I have to say it was the best winter squash pie we've ever eaten! Better than pumpkin, better than cushaw, better than North Georgia candy roaster (which is awfully good). 

Now, I'm looking forward to trying it in pancakes and cake. I will definitely plant it again.


daisy g said...

Fabulous to hear! Those are some keeper seeds!

Goatldi said...

Looks and sounds delicious. I will have to keep my eyes open for seeds I’m trying to buy as little seed wise as possible. But I have found a few nifty sources that I feel comfortable with.

This needs to be the year of the squash at my house cause I have not gotten a patch started yet darn gophers are in the ground squirrels but I shall persevere.😜

Ed said...

We made a sweet potato pie with some of our crop and it was delicious. However, my favorite is still a Hubbard squash pie.

Boud said...

Thank you for posting the recipe, given how successful it was. Congratulations on your new veg.

Leigh said...

Daisy, definitely a keeper!

Goatldi, watch for an email from me!

I have particular pests too, which can be discouraging. Mine are mostly slugs and bugs.

Ed, sweet potato pie is my favorite, and this was very similar, although the texture was more like pumpkin or winter squash. I've never had Hubbard squash, although I know a lot of people like it. Maybe next year!

Leigh said...

Boud, you're welcome for the recipe! It's always exciting when a new try works out so well. If I get good ones next year, I'll really be happy!

Debby Riddle said...

Such a nice size. I'll be interested in how they do in storage.

Renee Nefe said...

Looks very good! I heard somewhere that the canned "pumpkin" is really a type of squash (not actual pumpkins) anyway.
I am always disheartened by all the pumpkins that folks buy for decorations and then let rot after the holidays. At least some of my neighbors have enough sense to ask if any of the goat owners might want them first.

wyomingheart said...

Well, dang if that don’t look scrumptious, Leigh! How many squash are you going to end up with.? What a wonderful little vegetable! Thanks for the recipe! Have a wonderful week ahead!

Leigh said...

Debby, I'm curious about storage as well. I'll have to let you know! They grew well and with few problems. I had squash bugs early on, but destroyed the eggs and had very few problems after that.

Renee, well, that's interesting about canned pumpkin. They certainly grow enough of them, but maybe they prefer to sell them as decorations. And I agree with you that it's a shame that people just throw them out. Last year our neighbor dumped a bunch at the back of their property, so we salvaged them to feed to the chickens and goats.

Leigh said...

Wyomingheart, I got 7 mature squashes and about 5 or 6 that I picked green right before a hard frost. The one I used for the pie was one of the smaller ones, so the others should go a long way.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Success! Good to hear. I'm always amazed as your experiments and tests.

Leigh said...

Every year I say I'm done experimenting and I'm going to stick with my home saved seed. Then, every year I find something interesting in the seed catalogs! Can't get enough of that kind of fun. :)

Mike Yukon said...

Hi Leigh,
You haven't said much about your solar freezer. Is it working out for you?


Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Sounds delicious Leigh! On our recent travels they have used pumpkin a great deal. I am somewhat surprised to realize how limited my general diet of pumpkin/squash is.

The Happy Whisk said...

How fun that you grew that and then baked with it. I love it!

Rosalea said...

Wonderful! I'll be on the hunt for some of those seeds. I've used butternut squash for a pie and it was very good as well.

Leigh said...

Mike, good to hear from you! The solar freezer is working very well. I occasionally have longer cloud cover than the batteries can hold energy for, but the system is a good one and produces quite a bit of electricity, even with light cloud cover. It was definitely a project worth doing.

TB, if you like pumpkin, then it's a versatile food. But all the winter squashes offer subtle but delicious variety!

HW, thanks!

Rosalea, I'd be happy to send you some seeds, or even trade seeds with you. Email me to discuss!

Nancy In Boise said...


Leigh said...

Nancy, tasty too!

Rain said...

Nice! 4 pounds is big for the smallest squash! I love that you tried it in a pie. I'm thinking of planting some as well!

Nina said...

I take my cooked squash or pumpkin and set it in a colander or strainer, over a bowl for a couple of hours. This allows the excess moisture to drain out of the squash. It then doesn't have that watery texture and cooks up to a very smooth and rich pie. The bonus is the squash water in the bowl, which is also collected and useful in soups and gravy.

Leigh said...

Nina, that's a very good idea, thanks! I will definitely try that next time. :)