Surviving the Shortage
Have you heard about the Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2009? A Google search returns over 150,000 pages about it.
We tried making a pumpkin pie from sugar pumpkin, back in our California days, and it came out so stringy and unpleasant to eat, that we decided canned pumpkin still counted as making a pie “from scratch”. What to do? Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it seems that canned pumpkin is nowhere to be found in Des Moines. Lucky for me, I had recently come across a knitting blog post raving about using Hubbard squash in place of pumpkin in pumpkin bread. So, for the last Farmer’s Market of the season, I asked the Consort to bring some back.
Then I put it in a roasting pan with a bit of water in the bottom and roasted it at 350 degrees until the skin was easily pierced with a fork (took me a little over an hour — a larger one would, obviously, take longer):
After you let it cool a little while, you scrape the flesh from the skin, and mash it up nice and smooth (any extra can be frozen or stored in the refrigerator for a while):
Then follow your favorite pumpkin pie recipe, substituting 1.5 cups of squash for 1 can of pumpkin. If yours happens to be on the bottom of the pie dish that you decide to use, and you realize this only after you’ve pre-baked the crust (rickin’ frickin’!), well then, the recipe on the side of a can of pumpkin (if you happen to still have one in your pantry) works just dandy:
I made a pastry crust using 50% white flour and 50% wheat flour, since squash is a strong enough flavored filling that the whole wheat doesn’t overpower it.
If you enjoy your pie American-style, then you and your offspring will hurry off to the local shop to buy a can (a can!!!) of ready-made whipped cream.
If you prefer your pie European-style, then you wouldn’t have even thought to add heavy cream to the shopping list, because it didn’t even cross your mind that a delicious homemade pie would require anything other than itself, in moist deliciousness. (So there!)
However you prefer it, you will be happy to know that Hubbard is a perfectly successful substitute for canned pumpkin. You’ll know because your offspring will assert this several times (high praise, indeed).
And you can even use that extra squash to make pumpkin muffins:
Which turn out pretty damn good, too.
(PS: How do the pictures come out on your screen? I tried something different this time, and although it looks fine on mine, I wouldn’t want to do it again if it creates problems on other machines.)