The Absolute Best Types Of Winter Squash To Use For Pie

Can you feel it, folks? There is a cold snap in the air, the season has finally shifted, and it's time to pull out your wool socks and knit hats. But besides the hot cider and massive amounts of bread-related goodies, there is something else truly magical about cuisine this time of year, and that would be the pies. A good pie like pecan, Dutch apple, or sweet potato can really make dessert during the winter worthwhile, but none are as classic or delicious as a pie made from winter squash.

Not only is winter squash absolutely divine as a pie filling with its attractive, vibrant color and toasty sweet flavor, but it is also super nutritious. The World's Healthiest Foods reports that winter squash is super nutrient-rich and chock full of fiber, omega-3 fat, minerals, and vitamins. But when it comes down to picking the best kinds of winter squash to purchase for your homemade pie recipes, Andrew Zimmern says that the sugar pumpkin, buttercup, and Blue Hubbard are the best varieties to use for dessert this season.

Sugar pumpkin, Hubbard, & buttercup squash oh my!

So what makes these squash stand out from the rest? Well, according to Bon Appétit, sugar pumpkins are perfect for pie making. Another name for them is literally "pie pumpkins” and that's because they are small in size, have a nice texture, and are positively sweet! When cooked, the sugar pumpkin's texture turns creamy and the gourd is known to pair beautifully with fall flavors like maple, brown sugar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

As for the Hubbard squash, Food Network says that if you're looking for a lot of pie filling, this large squash is your best bet. Weighing between 15-20 pounds, this squash is perfect for cooking into several different dishes. You could make pies, soups, purees and so much more with this fruit, but the best way to go about it is to roast the thing whole, then slice and dice it, or else you'll have your hands full.

Last but not least is the buttercup squash. Like the sugar pumpkin, buttercup squash is sweet and creamy tasting, but tends to be a touch more fibrous and can easily be dried out during baking. Delighted Cooking claims that the best way to avoid that is by steaming or baking the squash to maintain the moistness, and unlike the Hubbard, the Buttercup squash usually only weighs 3-5 pounds at maturity, so they are easy to handle and perfect for baking into your autumn pie.