Cushaw Pie

"This is a family recipe from the kitchen of my much-missed mamaw, Avis. Nothing says "holiday" to me like cushaw pie, and I never even had regular pumpkin until much later in life (and have always preferred cushaw)! Note: Cushaws are often sold as decorative gourds, but they're entirely edible and taste kind of like pumpkin, but milder. They're orange-and-white striped when they're unripe, and green-and-white striped when they're ready to cook. (PREP TIME does not include cooking or draining the cushaw.)"
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Ready In:
1hr 15mins
1 pie




  • Sift together sugar and spices and add to cooked, pureed squash.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time.
  • Add cream and mix well.
  • Bake in unbaked pie shell 10 minutes at 450, then 40 minutes at 350. (If you use a deep dish pie crust, add an additional 15-20 minutes to the last leg of cooking.).
  • Pie is done with the edges are set and brown but the middle still has just a bit of movement, like a custard. A knife or toothpick inserted should come out clean.
  • Cool completely on a rack before cutting or refrigerating. Can be eaten immediately, refrigerated for a few days, or frozen for later enjoyment.

  • Cushaw is easiest cooked by cutting it length-wise (this will take a little muscle and a serrated knife or small, clean hand saw), removing the inner pulp and seeds, and then baking the hull, skin still on, in a 350 degree oven on a lined baking sheet. It's done when the flesh is soft and the skin slides off easily - about 1 hour.
  • It can be cooked more quickly by slicing the gourd lengthwise, then cutting away the rind and cutting the cushaw flesh into chunks. Boil or steam until fork-tender.
  • Puree the cooked cushaw flesh, rind/skin removed, in a food processor or blender in small batches until it is smooth and lump-free. You can also use a potato masher for a more rustic feel, but the resulting pie will be more lumpy, rather than a smooth, custard-like texture.
  • Be sure to drain the cushaw thoroughly or the pie will end up too watery. I usually put the cooked, pureed pulp in a strainer, place the strainer over a bowl, and then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • One cushaw will render enough pulp to make several pies, depending on the size. The leftovers freeze wonderfully in 1 cup portions and will save you from having to process it all again next time!

Questions & Replies

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  1. I dont always have heavy cream available, but half and half or canned milk works just fine, and saves some calories
  2. Oh this brings memories back. I also agree that Cushaw Pie tastes better then Pumpkin. I have even tried to grow Cushaws out here in AZ, but they will not grow past the 2 inch size and then die. And they can't be found anywhere in AZ that I have been. :( Cushaws were grown by my grandmas, on both sides, they make the BEST pies. I will be saving this recipe, as it is exactly the one my grandmas used and I can say, IT IS BEYOND GOOD! Thanks for the memories Lena. If only virtual. :)


  1. This was delicious. I accidentally put in 2 cups of cushaw rather than one and it filled a glass pie dish perfectly. Needed the longer cooking time. Also better on day 2. it mellowed nicely.


Banker by day and wannabe chef by night... <br> <br>I'm a newly-wed with a little cooking experience... I love it but I need help! My mom could barely boil water without burning the pot and my husband is used to delicious homecooked meals from his grandmother and mom... yipes! The learning curve is steep but luckily he's willing to humor me. :) My favorite thing to do is bake sweets of all varieties and I'm so excited that I just made my first creme brulee - and it was amazing! <br> <br><img src="" width="250"> <br> <br>I also have two step-kids (10 and 9) and a year old miniature dachshund that's bound and determined to destroy my house. <br> <br><img src=""> <br> <br>I was Chef of the Day on March 19, 2009! Woohoo! What a fun day that was. :) <br> <br><img src="">
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