Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pink Banana Squash Pie

Pink banana squash is the best large winter storage squash I've found for growing in my high desert climate. I have the room to let the vining variety ramble, but both the bush and the vining varieties set 10 - 20 pound fruit that has time to mature in my 110-ish day frost free season. And the pink banana will keep in storage, in a crate in a corner of my bedroom, for at least 6 - 8 months - long after all the delicatas and butternuts have been used.

Of course, once cooked, a big squash can provide more than a week's worth of meals - muffins, soups, and just mashed with a bit of butter on top. But one of my favorite ways, and especially for Thanksgiving, to eat pink banana squash is as pie. Pies made with pumpkin can have a bit of a greenish cast to them. But a pink banana pie turns out even tastier, with a beautiful brown color through and through.

 This year, for the first time in at least 15 years, I get to be a guest at a Thanksgiving dinner instead of the cook. I'd only need to prepare an appetizer (jalapeno pepper jelly poured over a block of cream cheese, served with whole wheat crackers) and a dessert. Of course, my dessert offering had to be pink banana squash pie. I wanted to make two pies, but I won't be in my own kitchen the next few days, to be able to deal with the extra squash pulp. So I picked one my smaller pink banana squash, small enough to fit in the dish drainer, to prepare.

First step in making pink banana pie is to cook the squash (don't have a pink banana? this recipe also works well with a butternut or pie pumpkin). Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Place, cut side up, in a large roasting pan and add an inch of water. Bake at 375F for 1 -2 hours, until squash is soft and browned (this banana squash took two hours). Scrape the flesh out of the peel for use, as is, in any recipe calling for pumpkin puree.

Pink Banana Squash Pie (one 9" pie)
Line a 9" pin tin with 1 prepared pie crust (your favorite recipe, or you can use a half-recipe of mine - flute the edge of the crust up above the edge of the pie tin. This recipe overfills a 9" pan by a bit, and it will puff up while cooking, then sink down as it cools)

2 cups cooked mashed squash
1 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk (or can use heavy cream, for a more decadent version)
2 eggs 
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses or real maple syrup
⅛ teaspoon allspice
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
(or can just substitute 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice for all the spices)

Blend all ingredients in a blender (in batches if necessary) or with a hand-held mixer. Pour into prepared raw crust and very carefully (it will be very full) transfer to 425F preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F and continue baking for another 45 minutes, or until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.


Malay-Kadazan girl said...

This is the first time I heard about Pink Banana squash. It is really huge.

Unknown said...

I'm baking one of these right now my first time growing or cooking with one

Sadge said...

I'll have to post my recipe for Curried Squash Soup, too.

Anonymous said...

Love banana squash! I'm making this pie ASAP! Thank you for sharing what looks to be a tasty treat recipe!!!