Ok, so I love pumpkin pie. From scratch. Yes like using a real pumpkin, baking it, pureeing it then making the pie with it. But I didn’t want to wait that long. And I used all my canned pumpkin making amazing raviolis. So, all I have is this lone little pie pumpkin. Well as its name suggests, it really should be part of a pie.
Speaking of the name, did you know the Pie Pumpkin is also called a Sugar Pumpkin or Pumpkin Pie Squash? That’s a lot of identities for such a small little squash. Oh, and it’s completely different than a carving pumpkin! Apparently Pie Pumpkin’s (or whichever name you would rather call them) are sweeter and work better in things like – pies! Who knew?
Anyways, I’ll just get back to this whole pie thing that I wanted. First, I cut that pumpkin in quarters and was rewarded with a good sized bowlful of seeds to roast (one of my favorite snacks). I had a moment of nostalgia in scraping the pulp out because I remember there was a specific age where I was just old enough and strong enough to scrape that pumpkin clean. Before then I could hand the pulpy pumpkin to my mom and within 2 minutes my pumpkin would be clean and ready for me to carve. Hmm, I wonder if I could talk her into that now?
So once I had my pumpkin component, I had to make the “pie” part. I added brown sugar, butter, and all those earthy spices that make up that tangy, spice filled bite you think of when you taste pumpkin pie.
I popped that tray in the oven and waited. I was rewarded with an amazing aroma in the house, it was basically what you expect to smell when you walk into grandma’s house when she’s not baking cookies. It was amazing. The butter and brown sugar formed this bubbly sweet sauce that took up residence in the bottom of each pumpkin slice soaking into the squash.
Now I traditionally whip up some heavy cream and make whipped cream to go on top of my pumpkin pie, but this one is hot out of the oven so I needed something a bit more substantial. I topped it off with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and some candied walnuts. Oh boy is it heaven!
It’s a very squashy flavored “pie”, but it was very natural too you know? That’s why it’s naked. It can’t get more au natural than this. The pie flavors are all there too, it is sweet and cinnamony and buttery. Everything I want in a pumpkin pie anyway, in a brand new form. I call it a success.
Sadly this is the last recipe for pumpkin week, but because I can’t get enough of this amazing squash, I have a feeling we will be seeing it again this year sometime!
- 1 pie pumpkin squash
- 2 tablespoon butter, diced small
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped into large pieces
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare the pumpkin. Cut into quarters, scrape out all the seeds and strands of pulp. Reserve the seeds for roasting. Prick the slices with a fork 5 or 6 times each all over to allow the buttery goodness to sink in. Put the slices on a baking sheet.
- Divide butter cubes among slices. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brown sugar over each slice. Mix the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg together and sprinkle evenly over all the slices.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until squash is soft when pricked with a fork.
- While it’s baking, make the candied walnuts by combining walnuts, sugar and butter in a pan over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved and coated the walnuts, turn off the heat, add the vanilla and stir quickly. Pour the walnuts onto a sheet pan covered with wax paper. Move walnuts around so they are not touching. Let them cool.
- Serve the pumpkin slices with vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of candied walnuts over the top.