On the NC Candy Roaster,There's a Squash that's Pink and Bright
Where the pumpkins all are tasty and the pies are nice and light.
Would you like to hear the story about not only the very first pumpkin pie I ever made, but also about the most delicious pumpkin pie I have ever tasted? It starts with me not liking pumpkin pie. They are boring, the texture is weird, and any pie that I have to cover in chemical filled cool
So the quest begins. I had some friends keep an eye out for some pie pumpkins at a local patch. They weren't able to bring any home, so I took matters into my own hands. I headed out to the nearest patch that I felt was actually about pumpkins and not about swindling/guilting parents out of money. This little pumpkin patch, Lineberger's Maple Springs Farm, fit the bill! They offered hay rides, but they were only $5 and you got a pumpkin! They also had TONS of pumpkins to choose from.
Te-Man and I did 3 laps and I did not see a single pie pumpkin. I was looking specifically for those little ones you see in the supermarket...no luck. I asked the lady behind the counter. She was super sweet, but she just "worked there" and couldn't help me with the pumpkins except hand me a pumpkin magazine. It did have a great list of pumpkin varieties and their uses, and even named some for pies - none of which they had. She suggested we wait for the owner to get back with the next load of hay riders. I wasn't about to let a beautiful day go to waste, so Teagan and I wondered about the farm, finding blackberry bushes, raspberry bushes, strawberries, and tons of rides/toys. We will be spending a lot of time there next summer!
So - I finally found out that NC Candy Roasters are supposedly very popular for pie. They were in fact developed here in NC and are descendants of the banana squash, which can grow up to 100lbs! The NC Candy Roasters only grow to a much more manageable 10lbs or so. :) I was also told, repeatedly, that "People come down from the mountains to get these Candy Roasters. From the Mountains!"
So, I am so excited to make this pie, I get home and set straight to work. First, I slice up the squash into manageable pieces that fit onto my baking sheet. The baking sheet was lined with a non-stick mat.
*Note, the squash in the picture is skin down only to show you the beautiful yellow of the squash. It should in fact be cooked skin side up*
Once it is cool enough to touch, use a spoon and scrape the insides out of each squash piece into a bowl. If you feel it is a bit stringy, you can blend it up with a food processor or I just took a quick spin of my immersion blender through it.
Here, you can measure out however much you need for any recipe you may like. You can also freeze this squash puree in any quantity you'd like.
I chose to do 2 cup portions. I got seven 2 cup portions out of the 2 squash.
Here is the recipe for the best Pumpkin Pie I have ever eaten.
Candy Roaster Pumpkin Pie
This pie is light and airy and has just the right amount of sweetness and spice. Will be making it again soon!
What's In It:
2 c pureed NC Candy Roaster Squash
1/3 c sugar
2 T flour
1/2 c evaporated milk
1 t vanilla
1/2 T pumpkin pie spice
3 T butter
1 pie crust
What To Do With It:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine all ingredients (except pie crust) and mix in mixer until creamy and thoroughly combined. Pour mixture into favorite pie crust and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
I would also like to point out that for the record, the cool whip on this pie was not mine and I in fact ate mine without it. Thought it wasn't too bad with it either. :)