Mock Apple Pie Recipe

Mock Apple Pie
Mock Apple Pie

This dish I fondly remember from my early years. My mother, never being one to waste anything, used to make this dish around harvest time to use up green pumpkins whose flesh had not yet turned golden inside.  I have no ideas where she came up with this recipe, but it always seemed like good eats to us kids.  If your pumpkin is a little too small or you underestimated the size needed fill your pie, not a problem, just add some apple slices to make up the difference.

Ingredients

  • Two to three pounds of green pumpkin
  • 2 prepared pie crusts
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/4 cup green pumpkin; peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons margarine

Directions

  • Preheat Oven: Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Prepare smallish green Pumpkin (two to three pounds)
    • With large knife (I used a clever for this task) cut pumpkin into halves
    • Remove seeds and scrape out seed web
    • With large knife or clever cut halves into quarters
    • With large knife or clever cut quarters into one or two inch slices
    • Take a slice at a time lay it on its side and with paring knife cut the peel off
    • Repeat until all slices are peeled
    • Cut the peeled (flesh) slices into ½ inch slices
    • Cut into halves or quarters approximately apple slice sizes (Try to keep the size of the slices even)
  • Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl.
  • fold in green pumpkin slices (all slices should be covered)
  • Even line a 9 inch pie pan with prepared pie crust
  • Pour into pastry-lined pie plate and gently level with spoon or spatula
  • Dot with small bits of margarine.
  • Cover with top crust and seal the edges.
  • Cut slits in the top.
  • Cover edge with 3-inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent too much browning.
  • Bake 30 and carefully remove foil from pie edges
  • Bake an additional 10 to 20 minutes more until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.

Caution

  • Let cool 15 to 30 minutes on elevated rack before serving

Serving

  • 6

Winter Squash – Sweet Dumpling

Winter Squash, Sweet Dumpling (C.Pepo)
Winter Squash, Sweet Dumpling (C.Pepo)

Sweet Dumpling is a very sweet, tender orange flesh and a acornish shape with ivory skin with dark green stripes. The Sweet dumpling has pale orange flesh About the perfect size for having and filling with a meat stuffing for a nice two-person meal starter.

Species

Cucurbita

Genus

Pepo

Classification

Squash

Family

Acorn

Days To Maturity

100-110 days

Fruit Size

A small to medium sized squash ranging in diameter from 5 to 7 inches.

Weight

¾ to 1 lb

Skin Color

Ivory skin with dark green stripes

Habit

Medium length vines

Seed Depth

½ – 1″

Seeds Per group

4 -6

Seed Spacing

6″

Space Between Hills

4 – 6′

Day To Germination

7 – 14

Thin To (Plants Per hill)

2

Year Introduced

1976

Heirloom

No

Resistance

Unknown

Usage

Edible – Very good food qualities

Storage

Good Keeper

Space Saver

Can be planted in your landscaping or in a very large pot.  Also, can be grown vertically.

Substitution

substitutes for Acorn or carnival

Related References

Climatic Considerations for Winter Squash and Pumpkins

Climatic Considerations for Winter Squash and Pumpkins, c. pepo, c. maxima, c. moschata, C. argyrosperma, C. mixta
Pumpkins Outdoors in Fall

Squash is a warm-season crop. It should not be planted until the danger of frost is past. In the list below, note the species from which each variety has been selected. Some do better in certain climates and have different growing season lengths.

  • C. argyrosperma and C. mixta grow best in hot arid climates like the Southwest United States
  • C. maxima grow best in cooler northern climates, especially along coastal areas of large lakes or oceans where the growing temperature may be more consistent
  • C. moschata are best grown in southern humid climates
  • C. pepo does best in areas in climates which provide even rainfalls and temperature ranges, such as, coastal regions and the midwestern United States.

Related References

Good Reasons to Grow Plenty of Winter Squash And Pumpkins

Good Reasons to Grow Plenty of Winter Squash And Pumpkins
Neck Pumpkin on the ground outside a raised bed

While there are many gardeners who lament the space consumed by winter squash and pumpkins there are several good reasons to grow plenty of them.

Reason for growing winter squash

Chief among the good reasons to grow squash for the dinner table are:

  • Most young winter squash/pumpkins can be used as a substitute for summer squash eliminating the need to grow both,
  • Most young winter squash/pumpkins can be used as a substitute for Apple in certain recipes (e.g. apple pie),
  • The flowers are edible (in salads, quesadillas, etc.),
  • The seeds are edible (shelled raw, roasted or as sprouts),
  • They can be stored for long periods without the use of special preservation techniques.

More good reason for growing winter squash

Other reasons to grow plenty of winter squash are:

  • They can easily be given to friends or neighbors for there use, which can generate some goodwill,
  • They can usually be donated to food banks/kitchens,
  • They can be used for decoration both indoors and outside,
  • They can be fed to livestock for those who may have small farms,
  • and seed savers can give their seeds to friends for their gardens.

Cool Storage of Winter Squash and Pumpkins

Cool Storage of Winter Squash and Pumpkins
Winter Squash on a shelf

Cool Storage

Perhaps, the better and most cost-effective way to keep winter squash and pumpkins is cool storage.  For cool storage to be effective the fruit must be consistently stored above freezing and the germination temperature.  Please note, Not all squash store equally well.  With that said, I have stored some varieties a winter squash so long that we have had to eat them just to make room for the New Year’s harvest.

For best results:

  • cure in warm area squash or pumpkins for a week to 10 days,
  • clean off dirt with a damp soft cloth,
  • with a second clean soft cloth wash with 1 cup vinegar to one gallon of water, and allow the skin to dry completely before storage.
  • Store in a cool (40-550 F), dry place to prevent shrivel, lose weight, and to postpone spoilage as long as possible.
  • Position the fruit so that the fruit is not touching one another and so that air can flow freely around the fruit.
  • I recommend placing as many of the fruit where they can be easily seen, for easy inspection for signs for an impending loss. The sweetness and quality of squash or pumpkins often improve, if cured for 2 to 4 weeks, or more in storage.

Where to Store Squash and Pumpkins

where to store your squash is a little less important provided the required temperatures can be maintained. Some of the more common places are root cellars, pantries, basements. Just about any place with a cool constant temperature within the ranges required will do. However, it’s best if it’s a place that’s convenient and semi-protected. You don’t want your squash to be damaged by kids playing or by having to crawl over them to get to something important which might beast stored above are behind them. Perhaps, my favorite throughout the years has been the root cellar I grew up with them in Oregon and I’ve long appreciated their value for storing vegetables of all types including winter squash for long periods of time to do the harshest weather during winter. I have, in places like Virginia and Minnesota, used the basement of the home in which I lived. Pantries can be a little more problematic for a couple of reasons. First, having sufficient space to store all the pumpkins and squash growing volumes at my gardens produce. Second, my pantries are usually attached to the house and tend not to read to retain a constant cool temperature.

Is your storage location too warm?

The best way to tell if your storage location is too warm, other than a thermometer, is that when you break open the squash, if you see seeds that have sprouted, then your storage area is too warm the seeds are germinating.

Winter Squash – Carnival

Winter Squash, Carnival (C. Pepo)
Carnival (C. Pepo)

The carnival squash is acornish shaped, hard skinned, with hard skin. The inner flesh has a mellow taste like sweet potatoes.  The carnival squash can be baked, pureed, or steamed to be served as a side dish seasoned with butter and herbs, or used as a base for soups and stews.

Species

Cucurbita

Genus

Pepo

Classification

Squash

Family

Acorn

Days To Maturity

85-95 days

Fruit Size

A small to medium sized squash ranging in diameter from 5 to 7 inches.

Weight

2-5 lbs

Skin Color

multi-colored

Habit

Bush

Seed Depth

½ – 1″

Seeds Per group

4 -6

Seed Spacing

6″

Space Between Hills

4 – 6′

Day To Germination

7 – 14

Thin To (Plants Per hill)

2

Year Introduced

Unknown

Heirloom

No (F1) – Across between acorn and sweet dumpling

Resistance

Unknown

Usage

Edible – Very good food qualities

Storage

Good Keeper

Space Saver

Can be planted in your landscaping or in a very large pot.

Substitution

 substitutes for Acorn or sweet dumpling

Related References

Ask the Gardener – My pumpkin is becoming ripe, if I put it in the garage, do you think it’ll keep until Halloween?

Unlikely, since this is June and you harvested it now or in early July. Especially, not in the garage. For long-term storage, pumpkins/winter squash need to be stored below the germination temperatures and above freezing in a cool dry place.

The normal recommendation for storage temperatures is between 40°F and 55°F. However, there is some variation between varieties.  Some C. Moschatas can be stored up to 14 months (e.g. Seminole or Neck Pumpkin) and some C. Pepo varieties (e.g. Thelma Acorn Squash) can only be stored for about three months;  just to name a couple of squash families.

With some tender love care, you should even be able to get some more fruit from your current vines. or, here in San Antonio (Hardiness Zone 8), you still have time for an entirely new planting depending on the maturity requirements of the pumpkin/winter squash (e.g. 90 days – Autumn Glow or 110 days – Waltham Butternut) variety.  Due to high ground temperatures, you may need to start the seed indoors.