Ginny’s Thanksgiving pie

26 Nov

When a 98-year-old woman texts you her mother’s recipe for a cherished holiday pie from her childhood — days before Thanksgiving, it is worth noting — well, my mamma didn’t raise no dummy.

Also worth mentioning is the woman’s place in my life. She is my wife’s mother. Her name is Virginia. But you can call her Ginny.

Ginny is a New Englander to the core. The place where she lives today, just outside of Boston, is but a few miles from where she was born and raised.

New Englanders and New Yorkers, particularly Italian-American New Yorkers like myself, are not always, shall we say, simpatico in matters of food cravings. I learned this long ago, and so was not surprised that Ginny’s pie recipe featured a main ingredient unlike any that my kind would expect on a holiday dessert tray.

It’s a blue hubbard squash.

And here’s what it looks like inside.

Lucky for Ginny that her son-in-law doesn’t live in Brooklyn anymore; he lives in Maine, where the nearby farms are positively lousy with these things!

Despite a strong urge to fiddle with the recipe (I am not a recipe follower by nature) I followed this one to the letter. I cooked some of the filling separately to see what I’d gotten myself into and it tasted an awful lot like a pumpkin pie, both to me and to Ginny’s daughter.

Later on today we’ll be driving the pie down to Ginny’s.

She is not a woman without strong opinions and so odds are good that a Comment might be forthcoming.

Pray for me.

And Happy Thanksgiving.

Blue Hubbard Squash Pie

One pie crust. (I used Beth Queen of Bakers’ recipe.)

1 1/2 cups blue hubbard squash, roasted and mashed

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups evaporated milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

Mix together the dry ingredients, then add in the squash and mix thoroughly. Add the beaten eggs, milk, and butter and mix.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 45 minutes or so.

6 Responses to “Ginny’s Thanksgiving pie”

  1. Joanne Gray November 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm #

    Thanks, Mr. Meatball! So good to read another post.

  2. Fred November 26, 2020 at 2:28 pm #

    If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck… it must be pumpkin pie! Enjoy! Have a safe and healthy holiday with hopes for better days ahead.

  3. Cheryl November 26, 2020 at 2:38 pm #

    Blue Hubbard lover here born in Mass, living in NH. Can not wait to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing. I enjoy all your recipes. Born Irish but my cooking has been influenced by the Italian district that used to thrive in Lawrence MA. Also influenced by Italian friends and their families from “The Valley” the Italian section of Methuen MA. Once that area had many Italian farmers. Sadly the younger generations have moved away not caring to do the work and hard labor of those before them. Thankfully there are a few left. And they do have Blue Hubbard’s a New England favorite.

    Thanks again for the recipe Mr. Meatball


  4. Bernadine November 26, 2020 at 5:58 pm #

    Happy thanksgiving! Lovely post 🙂

  5. Eric Demitroff November 28, 2020 at 1:05 pm #

    We grow organic Blue Hubbard each year and a number of winter storage squash for trials. We have been looking to narrow the field and grow the one that lends itself best to eating roasted out of the oven and for pies and storage. This year we were amazed with Johnny’s Selected Seeds Winter Sweet Kabocha Squash. After curing a few months to sweeten, we tried it.
    The squash was halved longitudinally, seeds removed, and baked without water @ 350° for an hour or till fork soft. It has the delicious sweet chestnut flavor/texture we were looking for, unsurpassed for out of the oven eating. We thought this is the one to focus on.
    We made pies from scratch using the Winter Sweet, Pikes Peak, butternut, and the Blue Hubbard.
    All were good, but Blue Hubbard by far was the best. Moist and flavorful, it was the first to disappear from the pantry. The Winter Sweet is best for eating out of the oven with a little butter.

    Through the years we have tried many winter squashes, but Blue Hubbard continues to be the standard for pies.
    Fresh grated nutmeg is the key for our pies, some tomato gravies, eggnog, and the secret background ingredient in a lot of recipes. Store bought grated doesn’t compare. We like the quality of the organic nutmeg from Mountain Rose Herbs.
    Try a maple syrup, light brown sugar, and Benedictine (3+ Tbsp.) pumpkin pie.
    Thanks for the years of sharing wonderful recipes.
    P.S. A lot of canned pumpkin is actually squash, some being Blue Hubbard.

    • mistermeatball November 28, 2020 at 1:59 pm #

      I saved some of the seeds and will plant next year, thanks.

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