Don’t be intimidated by a massive heirloom squash. It is the perfect end of season storage food. Put it in a root cellar and it will last for several months. Or, if you’re like us, wait until the weather cools, when your farm is tucked in for the winter. Now is the time to warm up the house. Cook the squash, save a little for dinner and a pie then put the rest in your freezer for use over the long winter months.
In 2014, I planted two blue hubbard squash seeds – one per hill. Standard blue hubbard squash is a very familiar, very old variety of squash. It has lost a lot of flair in the modern era simply because it is SO massive. Families don’t store food away like they used to when you can shop year round at a local grocery and, in most cases, there aren’t as many mouths to feed. Not to mention, they are difficult to lug around until you get them broken down.
So why did we bother to plant blue hubbards? Because the flavor and texture is one of our favorites! We’ve grown a lot of different varieties of winter squash on our farm and this one ranks pretty high on our list along with Musque du Provence. Our two vines produced a total of six beautiful fruits.
With careful worthiness consideration, I gave each one away to someone I hoped would use it. The last one, the largest one weighing in at 36 lbs, I kept for our family. This would be all the squash our family would need for the whole winter. We aren’t huge squash eaters, but we LOVE to bake with it as an ingredient replacement for pumpkin puree. I’m never ahead of schedule, ever, so having this puree ready to go and not in the form of a uncooked squash in the cellar is a deal maker.
Here’s How We Process Our Massive Blue Hubbard Squash
- Wash the outside as best you can.
- Put in the oven at 325º. You can leave it whole or cut it in pieces to speed up cooking time. I sawed mine in half.
- Fork poke test for doneness. The flesh should be soft and easy to pierce with a fork.
- Remove and let cool. Scrape flesh from skins and you’re ready to eat some squash.
At this point, you have to decide what works best for you. I like to run the puree through a strainer to create a consistent puree and also to remove some of the stringy texture. Then I divide the puree in half cup portions for baking our favorite scones and some in one or two cup portions for serving with a meal.
In total, our 36 pound squash produce 34 cups of puree in just a couple hours.