Squash Sponge Pie bakes into light and tasty layers, each with a different texture. This lighter version of pumpkin pie, aka Grandma’s Squash Pie, is a family tradition started by my grandma who lived her whole life on a farm in Indiana.
At Thanksgiving, we always had two kinds of pumpkin pie. One was the traditional recipe on the back of the pumpkin can and Grandma’s pumpkin pie. Her pie was a sort of mildly spiced custard with layers. Only a couple spoonfuls of pumpkin were required. It has come to be known as squash pie in our family because we use a baby food jar of squash so we don’t have to waste a can of pumpkin.
It is my dad’s favorite dessert. I made it for him this past weekend on the occasion of his 91st birthday. Although guests are often put off by the name, it is full of memories and good flavors in our family, so we would rather not share anyway.
My mom likes to tell the story that she tried many times to duplicate this pie for my dad. Grandma didn’t use a recipe so mom had to guess at the amounts. Even though she watched her mother-in-law make it, she had a hard time getting the same results judged primarily by how distinct the layers were on presentation. She often would ask my dad if it was as good as his mother’s pie. The answer was usually, “not quite.” So one day, she secretly asked Grandma to make a pie and presented it as her own. Again, Dad’s answer was, “not quite.” After that, I think she gave up the whole idea of trying to make it as good as Grandma’s.Print
A layered custard pie made with either pumpkin or butternut squash (baby food)
- 2 egg whites
- 1 2-ounce jar baby food squash (may substitute 2 tablespoons pureed pumpkin)
- 3 T. flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 2/3 c. sugar
- dash of salt
- 1/8 t. cinnamon
- sprinkle of nutmeg
- sprinkle of allspice
- 1 to 1-1/2 c. milk
- Whip egg whites until stiff and set aside.
- Combine squash, flour, egg yolks, sugar, salt and spices. Blend milk into this mixture adjusting amount according to the size of pie pan you are using. 1 c. is plenty for an 8-inch pie but you may need more for a 9-inch pie plate.
- Mix in egg whites carefully. Mixture should be completely blended but no more. (I use a hand mixer.)
- Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Pie should be set and just slightly jiggly when done.
- Allow to cool and refrigerate before serving. If the layers are distinct when you slice it, you did it right!
Keywords: Pie, pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving dinner, holiday dinner, squash,
Confidential to the Herd family regarding Grandma’s Squash Pie:
Do you still make this pie? If so, how does your recipe compare with mine? Do you have any tips you could share? Do you prefer pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, or something else? Leave me a comment.