Friday, January 22, 2010

Jarrahdale Pumpkin makes a Great Squash Pie

My brother and his family have a farm market in Charlevoix, Michigan. They grow strawberries, raspberries and blackberries that you can pick yourself as well as vegetables, herbs and cut flowers that they sell at their farm market.

This past fall my son was visiting the family ‘up north’ and brought back some pumpkins for decorating. This particular pumpkin was a lovely blue-green with a good looking stem that was a real attraction on the front porch nestled in with the pumpkins from my compost heap (long story).

Before our unusual cold snap in December I put it in the garage for safe keeping while I thought about cooking it. In January I saw this lonely pumpkin sitting in the garage and decided to cook it up. So, I proceeded to just toss the thing whole into the oven rather than taking a chance of cutting off my arm trying to hack through it. I’m guessing it was about 8 lbs or so. I had to take out one rack so it would fit and at the last minute I decided to poke some holes in the top just in case it blew. Have you ever had a baked potato blow up in your oven? Me too and it isn’t pretty and this cucurbit was so big…it could take out the entire oven door!

It took about an hour and a half at 350 degrees before it was tender when tested with a knife. I hauled it out and let it cool. I should have put a tray under it as it bubbled some onto the oven floor (next time). It was so easy to cut in half – like butter. Next I scooped out the seeds and put them into a colander for later. The flesh was deep orange and sweet. This can’t be a pumpkin; it has too much color and flavor I thought to myself. I made a couple of pumpkin pies and divided the rest into quart size bags and sent it on to the freezer. The pies were a hit, everyone raved about them. Later I called my sister-n-law Sue and asked what kind of pumpkin she sent to me.

She confirmed my suspicions, although it is called a Jarrahdale Pumpkin, it is really a winter squash, Cucurbita maxima; an Australian heirloom variety grown for its unique blue-green skin and its deep orange colored flesh, perfect for pies.

I am planting this old fashioned squash who tries to pass for a pumpkin this year in my garden.

Seeds are available at Johnny Select seeds

Cici’s easy pie crust
In a pie plate combine:
1 cup unbleached flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons Flax seed (whole or ground slightly)
A pinch of sea salt
½ cup oil
Mix with a fork until well blended then add:
¼ cup milk
Mix well then with hands pat out crust to fit pan

To cook a Jarrahdale Pumpkin: Place whole squash in oven, poke some hole in the shoulders. Place cookie sheet under to avoid oven cleanup. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or so – until it is tender. Cool then cut in half, scoop out seeds then scoop out orange flesh. Freeze any leftovers.

Home-grown squash pie
In food processor add:
2 eggs
½ -3/4 cup sugar
Blend then add:
1 ½ - 2 cup jarrahdale pumpkin, cooked
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ cup milk

Blend together and pour into un-baked pie crust
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, turn down oven to 350 and bake
Additional 45min to 1 hour until knife comes out clean. Enjoy!


Sue said...

I am growing Jarradale this year and can't wait to make your pie.

Cindy Shapton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy Shapton said...

You will love Jarradale - can't wait to hear about your success!