Baked Cushaw Squares
PREP TIME: 1 ½ hours
YIELD: 6-8 squares

Cushaw, the striped crooked neck pumpkin, is commonplace along the highways of Louisiana. Although this pumpkin is normally peeled, boiled and cooked casserole-style with brown sugar for the holiday table, this simple recipe is good all year long.


  • 1 medium cushaw
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1/4 cup cane syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • candy corn for decoration

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place 5 cups of sugar in a stockpot with approximately 1 gallon water. Using a wire whisk, dissolve the sugar and bring the water to a rolling boil. Using a very sharp butcher knife, cut cushaw in half and remove the seeds and stringy pulp. Cut each half into three inch squares, leaving the hard shell intact. Place cushaw squares in boiling water and cook until tender but not mushy, remembering that the pumpkin must still be baked. Using a fork, test for tenderness. Once tender, remove and place the squares on a large cookie sheet or pan. Set aside. In a heavy bottom sauce pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add syrup, brown sugar and spices. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly until a bubbly syrup is achieved. Do not scorch. Top the cushaw pieces with the sugar mixture. Bake until thoroughly heated. When eating, scoop the sweetened meat from the shell as a snack or serve as a starch accompaniment to any entree. The cushaw squares may be further decorated with the candy corn once they have been removed from the oven.

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