The traditional pumpkin pie starts with a plump pumpkin. But did you know that any orange-fleshed squash such as butternut or buttercup bake into splendid pies, too? Roast, puree and season with cinnamon, ginger and other pumpkin pie spices for a fresh, seasonal taste.
Don’t worry if you can’t do it all in one day. You can prepare the pumpkin or squash up to five days before you make your pies. Or you can store puree in the freezer for 6-8 months for baking muffins, breads or pies anytime.
Quick Puree Recipe:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Wash the pumpkin or squash with warm water.
- Working on a solid surface, cut the squash into chunks about 4” square. Scrape off seeds with a grapefruit spoon.
- Place the pieces uncovered in a shallow baking dish, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the pieces are easily pierced with a fork. Cool. Pour off liquid that accumulates in the pan.
- Separate the cooked flesh from the rind and place the flesh in a colander or large strainer.
- Puree the cooled pumpkin or squash in small batches in a food processor or put the cooked pieces in a deep pot and use an immersion blender if you have one.
- Store puree in 2-cup portions in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or freeze for long-term storage. Pour off any juice that separates from the stored puree before using in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe.
Save leftover seeds to roast for a tasty snack.