How to Prepare Fall Squash
Roy Burger is still farming land his family has farmed for generations right in Niskayuna. You may have seen his fields if you enjoy a stroll or ride on the bike path. His produce is well-known and we’re lucky enough to call him our friend and farmer. Many of our annual flowers come from Roy, then in June we begin to enjoy his fresh produce. Now with the leaves beginning to turn it’s time for his pumpkins and squash! Bring some locally grown food home!
Ugly you say? Maybe the outside is a little gnarley, but the inside is mouthwateringly sweet! Any squash that’s been enjoyed for 4000 years has to have something going for it!
Buttercup stores for months in a cool dry place, so stock up and enjoy it in winter as well. You’ll want to because this squash is a good source of vitamin C.
Want something yummy? Cut Buttercups in half. Scoop out the seeds and fill with cut up apples. Add a little butter (or butter substitute), brown sugar and a touch of nutmeg, bake at 400°F for 30 to 40 minutes and devour!
A winter squash with a super sweet taste. Delicata can be baked, sauteed, steamed or microwaved. If you’re a fan of stuffing and baking squash, this is one to try. Often stuffed with kale and sausage, Delicata lends itself to many savory recipes.
If you aren’t much of a cook, don’t despair. Just cut this small squash into wedges, coat in olive oil, salt a little and bake for 30 minutes at 425°F. Easy and delicious!
Known as the Japanese pumpkin, Kabocha squash has a strong sweet flavor reminiscent of chesnuts. For texture, imagine a pumpkin and sweet potato combined. Fabulous for squash soup, Thai cooking, and vegetable tempura.
The peel of the Kabocha is edible, softening to a melty part of the deliciousness.
Most of us in the Northeast are well acquainted with acorn squash as one of the perks of autumn. Traditionally baked with butter and brown sugar or maple syrup, this squash is comfort food at its very best! Take a long walk this fall, enjoy the crisp air and foliage and serve acorn squash for dinner. You’ll feel like you’ve won the gourmet lottery!
Acorn squash also keep exceptionally well. Stored in a cool dry spot, you can partake of this squash for several months.
Bake in the oven or if you can’t wait that long, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and microwave face down on a plate. When your fork goes in easily, they’re done!
No need to guess how this pumpkin got its name. Just look at that beautiful carriage shape right out of the fairy tales. Cinderella Pumpkins are actually a French heirloom pumpkin first seen in the markets there in the 1880’s and has a reputation for being a superior pumpkin in the dessert world. With a sweet flavor and very creamy texture it naturally lends itself to making an awesome pumpkin pie or bread.
Joan’s Best Pumpkin Pie From Scratch Recipe
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of cloves
pinch of salt
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree (see below for recipe)
2 cups Half & Half, light cream or whole milk
Pre-bake the crust. Joan has tried many. Does anyone have a great crust recipe?
When the crust is done, set the oven to 375 °F. You’ll want to be making the pumpkin filling while the crust is cooking so you can put the mixture into the hot crust.
Beat the eggs with sugar, then add spices and salt.
Stir in the pumpkin puree and Half & Half.
Warm mixture in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
Stir occassionally. DO NOT LET BOIL!
Place pie pan on a baking sheet. Pour pumpkin mixture into still hot crust and bake 30- 40 minutes.
When pie is done the mixture will shake like jello, but will still be moist.
Cool on a rack and serve warm at room temp.
How to Make Fresh Pumpkin Puree
You’ll need about 3-3 1/2 lbs. of fresh pumpkin to make 2 cups of puree.
Clean the pumpkin(s) and cut into 2 inch squares removing seeds and stringy fibers.
Place pieces skin side up on a baking sheet lined with foil.
Cover with foil and roast at 375 °F for 60-90 minutes until fork tender. Let cool.
Scoop the pumpkin from the skins and put in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
Let mixture drain on cheesecloth over a bowl and let drain for 1 hour.
You have fresh pumpkin puree!