Spiced Cushaw Squash Pie


Cushaw, also known as kershaw, is an heirloom winter squash. It comes in a number of different varieties, but the green-striped is the most common. Now is the time to find it at your local farmers market. Next year, I want to grow my own! Though we did get these for free. They had a few flaws and were sent away to the island of misfit produce (aka my kitchen). Lucky me, I get pies! Each of these cushaws made enough puree for two pies.

Cushaws keep really well once harvested (store them in a cool, dark place and they’ll keep for a year) and they can be used in all the same ways you might use pumpkin in baking. They’re a bit sweeter, and once you make a cushaw pie, you might never want to use pumpkin again!

To prepare cushaw for baking in recipes, cut it apart. Remove seeds and strings.
Place pieces face-down on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350-degrees for an hour and a half (or until tender when pierced with a fork). Cool then scoop cushaw out of skin. Puree with a masher or food processor to the consistency of mashed potatoes. Use cup for cup in recipes as you would canned solid-pack pumpkin. Refrigerate up to a week before using or store in the freezer for several months.

Don’t toss those seeds out! Rinse and dry seeds then toss in a small amount of olive oil (amount depending on how much seeds you have) then place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and roast at 375-degrees until lightly golden. It makes a great snack and it comes as a free bonus with your squash!

In coming up with a pie recipe for my very special squash bounty, I looked at several pumpkin pie recipes as a starting point then made some changes including the addition of more spices to warm it up and take advantage of the extraordinary flavor you get with a cushaw.

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How to make Cushaw Squash Pie:

2 cups prepared cushaw squash puree
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces evaporated milk
pastry for single-crust pie

Combine cushaw squash puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla then beat lightly with a whisk. Stir in evaporated milk. Mix well. Pour into a pastry-lined pie plate. Bake on the lowest oven rack at 375-degrees for 50-60 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). Chill before serving.
This is a rich, delicious pie, full of flavor. And while it’s baking? It’ll make your house smell like autumn. Enjoy!

*You can replace the cushaw squash in this recipe with pumpkin or any other winter squash.

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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  1. Dett says:

    The pie looks delicious!

    What I can’t get over is that in the US you say “sqash” to some pumpkins and “pumpkins” to other pumpkins. Why’s that? In Europe they are just pumpkins – pumpkins of different breeds of course – but they are pumpkins.

  2. Tovah says:

    Wow, I would have never known what to do with those squash. Now I want to find some and try your pie recipe. Like pumpkin pie but sweeter? I’m there! My husband loves pumpkin pie so I’ve already made two since it got cooler!

  3. Lisa T. says:

    Aww your squash look like they’re cuddling.

  4. mary says:

    :sun: I might just have to make this this weekend!! Yummy!! :happyflower:

  5. Anita says:

    I hope you didn’t eat all those seeds! Cushaw are crazy-easy to grow.

  6. jan 'n' tn says:

    I’m in total agreement with Anita….save some seed for planting.

  7. Jane Cline says:

    I havent had cushaw in years, but a neighbor gave us three hubbard squash this week and i am going to make pies with then..and your pie looks wonderful.

  8. Miss Becky says:

    oh that pie is beautiful. I never ever use canned pumpkin to make a pie but instead buy organically grown pie pumpkins this time of year; now I may even use cushaw if I find some at the market! :hungry: :eating:

  9. Joanna Wilcox says:

    was wondering about storing some of the seeds for planting next year

  10. Christine says:

    Well, I’ll be darned. Never even heard of them before. What do you want to bet I’ll see them everywhere now?

  11. Yvonne says:

    Hey busy lady! Just wanted you to know how much I love your blog and newsletter. About the newsletter, for some reason, I received it FOUR times the other day. Don’t know what’s up with that, but thought I should let you know. (I hope it wasn’t my fault somehow.)

  12. Lilian Kress says:

    I love homemade pumpkin pie and someone gave me a kershaw squash today thanks to this site I know what to do with it. Got it in the oven now. Smells WONDERFUL!

  13. Senta Sandberg says:

    This weekend I made my own butter, and thought Suzanne would be so proud of me. It was so easy and yummy I am wondering why I have been buying butter. Granted I had and electric mixer still. This weekend will be home made butter on Grandmother bread.

  14. Lana says:

    When you toast the seeds, try sprinkling them with garlic salt instead of plain salt. Adds terrific flavor. All the best!

  15. Patty says:

    I was trying to explain Cushaws to my “yankee” husband LOL So I’m so glad to see this post! I’m going to have to get one at the farmer’s market and make this pie now. Well, I’ll get a couple to decorate out front too. I’m excited to make your pie crust. I got apples this week. I’m gonna try that deep dish apple pie too. Oh my house will smell so “autumny”!

  16. Angie says:

    I love cushaw pumpkins. I developed a fall spiced and fruited cake/bar that people everyone loves. It is a delicious pie, too! What a lovely fall treat to bake.

  17. zona brewczynski says:

    Just found your website. Was looking for a kershaw squash recipe. One question—-can you boil the squash and use it the same way?

  18. Shannon says:

    I am new to your site. I was told that I could microwave the curshaw instead of bake in oven. Have you ever tried that? Would you recommend it? (It was a farmer that told me to do it that way… microwave it covered with syran wrap for 35 min.)

    • Suzanne says:

      I know that you can microwave pumpkin. I haven’t ever microwaved cushaw. If a farmer told you that and they’ve done it with good results, I’d believe it! But–I’m not so sure about the 35 minutes. The time depends on the size of your pieces, so I’d start a lot lower, maybe 15 minutes, then check it, and microwave it in maybe 5 minute increments after that.

    • Shelley McClure says:

      I’ve attempted to microwave cushaw before and the while the results are ok…they are just that… ok. Microwaving will definitely work in a pinch–but it doesn’t add the depth of flavor that roasting it does. I would only recommend microwaving if you were going to make a butter with the cushaw. If you making a pie–it’s worth the extra time to roast. You won’t regret it!


  19. Shannon says:

    Great… I’ll let you know how it works out. One more question. I bought my Cushaws initially for decoration (looked great on my front porch). I was told to wait till the first soft spot came up… then to make the pie. My problem is… when I went to check a couple days later (today) there were several soft spots. If I cut out those spots will it still be ok to use do you think?

  20. Cindy says:

    When you clean out the squash save the strings and seeds for the chickens. They LOVE it!

  21. Janet Wenhold says:

    Love your page, also was so excited to see the Cushaw Squash; I have searched for years for the name of the odd green and white stiped squash. With most people looking at me like I was a little out of my mind. Guess good things come to those who wait.

    I would love to have a the new Ball Blue Book.

    Thanks once again Janet in Western PA

  22. Charlotte Moore says:

    My husband planted cushaw for the first time this year. I am amazed how big they are getting. I am wanting a cookie recipe for them.https://chickensintheroad.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/wink.gif

  23. Renee Rader says:

    Thank you so much for the cushaw pie recipe!! I just discovered them at a small farm in Virginia yesterday on my road trip to Florida. The lady there told me her husband grew them and they just happened to turn out extra large this year – mine is about 10lbs. She sold it to me for $4, which I though was great. I am getting ready to get started – can’t wait for my new home to smell mmm mmm goooood!. Thanks for the info – can’t wait to see how it is.

    p.s. I have a great crust recipe if you want it.

  24. Jan Morgan says:

    My Grandmother use to make Kershaw Pie when I was a kid. We all loved it! It has been many years since I have had some. Where do you get the seeds?

    Jan Morgan

  25. KCHobgood says:

    My paternal Grandmother made the most wonderful cushaw pies when I was growing up. Savory and sweet.So I thought I would look up her recipe and take a swing at it. I dropped by a local farmer’s market a picked up a likely looking squash with pale yellow stripes. Everything was going well until the first bite. It was the most bitter thing I have ever put in my mouth.Later I discovered the problem was the cushaw itself. The thing was left on the vine too long and like an over ripe cucumber had turned. The toasted seeds were tasty so it wasn’t a total waste.

  26. SJ says:

    It’s so funny to read how many others are also so glad to hear about the Cushaw/Kershaw, as am I. A good friend of mine recently gave me, as she calls it, a Kershaw. I had never heard of such a thing, living in Ohio. This kind, however, is slightly different. It is the same size and shape and the insides look the same, but the skin is kind of the opposite in color, being mostly a whitish color with pale green stripes. My friend’s husband is from the south and his relatives gave her the seeds and shared a whole different kind of recipe. I can share the ingredients, but unfortunately they don’t have written measurements. Surprisingly this pie can be made without eggs or flour and still holds up pretty good! Here goes:
    Kershaw Pie makes 2 pies
    -about 3 cups cushaw/kershaw squash
    -about 1 cup white sugar (or until your liking)
    -about 1 Tbs. butter
    -about 1-2 tsp. nutmeg
    -1 tsp vanilla (I found a recipe that uses lemon extract also. I tried itand we liked it here in our family 🙂 )
    -bake it in a pie crust (use a shallow pan rather than a deep dish)

  27. SJ says:

    Oops I forgot one more ingredient
    -milk or cream (I used cream and only added 1-2 Tbs)

  28. Jean says:

    Pie looks great, please also consider washing and drying the seeds. Store in jar after throughly dry and plant in spring. I started this last year. At 57 it finally dawned on me to do this instead of throwing them out and buying more in the spring. I love your webb site! Good Job!

  29. Melisa says:

    Suzanne – I’m so glad to find your website. I found a packet of Cushaw seeds at the dollar store and tossed a few in the garden. They did great. I am so glad to know that they are an heirloom variety and good for pies, just in time for Thanksgiving.

    Last week I made a pie out of the white Luminara pumpkin. What a nice change of flavor from the standard pumpkin. It was light and fresh. Thanks again for the info.

  30. Donna says:

    My grandmother always made these pies and I love them, but now do not know where to find them. Can you help with this?

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