So bad news everyone. This will be my last garden edition for a long time. Thanks to an early frost in Edmonton this year, I am mourning the loss of my pride and joy, my precious and gigantic buttercup squash plant.
This wonderful plant snaked it’s way through my yard and into my heart, reaching it’s long vines far beyond the bed of my garden. The squashes were plentiful too, and I was able to harvest a whole bunch, of all different sizes before my new arch nemesis ie. frost came along to destroy what was dearest to me. Upon it’s demise, my squash plant bore a whole bunch of baby squashes that never had the chance to reach their full and delicious potential. The tears. The tragedy.
I had one vine start to climb a fence, and had a squash grow right into the fence! You can see the odd looking squash pictured here, boasting a flat bottom and a strange indentation.
So to celebrate the life of my squash plant, today I have not one, but two buttercup squash recipes for you!
First, where do you get a buttercup squash? Well, John and I had never heard of them before, but we looked at the grocery store, and we surprised to see that they had them there. But of course, for all these recipes, I used the ones out of my garden!
Recipe 1: Buttercup Squash Soup
The first recipe we will explore is a savory buttercup squash soup. This recipe is startling easy. Bake squash and onion. Combine squash, onion, celery, chicken broth and sage in pot. Simmer. Blend. Ta-da, squash soup!
This soup is so savoury, warm and bright, and it will fill up your soul on a cold day. I plan to use my funny looking fence squash to make another soup in the very near future.
- Try using a hand blender directly in the pot instead of pouring the soup into a regular blender.
- Keep a close eye on the squash while baking it, ensuring that you mix it once or twice while baking – otherwise it will stick to the pan!
The second recipe was inspired by John. When John and I realized that we were about to be blessed with a passel of buttercup squashes, John did some quick research to find out what to do with them. Now pumpkin pie happens to be John’s favourite pie, and he was quite delighted when he discovered that buttercup squash can be made into a pie! According to John’s research, the pumpkin that you buy canned in stores is often buttercup squash. Who knew?
So with this good news, John started to not-so-subtly urge me to make him a buttercup squash pie. Making pie from scratch is usually a lot of work, so I decided to put off this task. But I finally broke down and decided to oblige his request.
When doing some research to find out how to make this pie, I was shocked at how easy it is. Making a pumpkin pie is already pretty easy, and pretty much all you have to do Is substitute pumpkin with the same amount of buttercup squash puree.
To make the puree, you bake the squash in two halves and then just scoop it out and mash it. Combine squash mash with all other pie ingredients in pie crust and bake. Done.
We were so happy with the result, and you could really taste the flavour of the fresh squash in the pie. The next thing I want to try is a butternut squash pie, as my understanding is that it will produce a similar result!
- Try substituting buttercup squash in your favourite pumpkin pie recipe
- Mash the squash instead of blending or food processor, as the chunkier texture is really noticeable and nice in the pie
- I chose to make a homemade pie crust with Tenderflake, but a store bought crust is much easier and pretty good too
- Serve with homemade whipped cream!
I only discovered it this year, but it is my new favourite squash. I love it in soups, pies or baked in the oven with a little butter and a sprinkling of brown sugar.
Spice/Herb of the week:
A key spice in pumpkin and buttercup squash pie and so many of those wonderful fall treats.
So for your thanksgiving dinner this year, why not change it up and try a pie from a fresh squash – buttercup or butternut – to dazzle your whole family?
Buttercup Squash Pie
Recipe yields one deep dish pie.
1 large or 2 small buttercup squash (about 4 pounds total), halved and seeded
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, or light cream
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 pie crust homemade or store bought.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut squash in half, and remove seeds. Brush squash with melted butter and place face-down on baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, and the flip squash cut sides up and bake for 10 more minutes, or until squash skin can easily be poked by a fork.
Remove the squash from the oven and set it aside to cool.
When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop flesh from squash into a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher. It is okay to leave some small chunks in there. You need 2 cups of squash but if you have a little more that is good.
Beat in the sugar, eggs, and cream. Add the spices and salt. Pour the filling into the crust and transfer the pie to the oven.
Bake the pie for 50 to 60 minutes. Let the pie cool before serving.
Serve with homemade whipping cream!
Buttercup Squash Soup
1 buttercup squash, about 2 pounds
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage, or 1 tsp dried
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese to garnish
Heat oven to 375°. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, and remove seeds. Cut halves into 1 inch chunks. Toss with chopped onion, olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes until tender. Be sure to mix vegetables while baking to prevent them from sticking to pan.
Heat butter in your soup pot, and saute celery until tender. Stir in roasted vegetables and sage. Add broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Blend soup. Try using a hand blender directly in the pot.