This year has been full of exciting discoveries in the garden and in the kitchen. Has anyone ever heard of Heirloom Jumbo Pink Banana Squash? I never had before this year and what a delightful find! They are extremely easy to process for fresh use in any pumpkin recipe or to store in your freezer and the result is a much sweeter, smoother and lighter squash than pumpkin. One squash goes a long way too. This one I worked up today measured 24" long, I'm not sure how much it weighed but they can weigh from 10 to 40 pounds.
Simply begin by cutting the squash into lengths and then slice each of the lengths in half.
Place halves, cut side down, on foil lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until you are able to easily pierce the outside with a fork. Take them out of the oven and let them cool. Thursdays are baking days for me, and to save some time, sometimes I'll bake these up the night before and after they cool, put them in the fridge until the next morning.
After the squash has cooled, simply scoop the insides into the food processor and blend until creamy. I blend three to four halves at a time. At this point, you can either spoon the squash into freezer bags or use immediately in any recipe that calls for pumpkin or squash. Today I spooned it into a big tupperware container, used 4 cups of it for pies and put the rest of it into the fridge. I couldn't even tell I had used any from the container, that's how much of it one squash will make. No more buying canned pumpkin at the store, using it, eating it and then hearing on the news that there has been a recall! Here is the Pumpkin Pie recipe I use and let me tell you that it is scrumptious! The secret is the maple syrup!
Pumpkin Pie made with Banana Squash
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of squash (or one 15 oz. can of pumpkin)
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; beat until smooth and pour into the crust.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 45 - 50 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and top of the pie is set. Test for doneness by inserting a knife into the pie, if the knife comes out clean, it's done. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.
Now I'm sure someone else can make a prettier pie than this one, my disposable pie pan wasn't big enough for this recipe as you can see, I filled it too full. Just know that the recipe is more than plenty for a good deep pie. Another nice touch to this pie, which I didn't do, is to add Maple Whipped Cream on top of it.
Maple Whipped Cream (Very Good!)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Beat all ingredients until stiff peaks form. Spoon onto pie and enjoy!