Colonial Squash

Pattypan squash was named by the French, pâtisson. The name comes from a cake pan with a scalloped edge. Historians believe that all squash are native to Central America and was introduced to Europe around 1700. It was, however, grown by Native Americans in the Northeast for hundreds of years before that and was introduced to American pioneers. It was called the White Scallop Squash long before it acquired the name Pattypan.
Today, while the white variety is most beautiful in my opinion, it is also found in yellow and light green. There are more recent varieties that are deep yellow and speckled green. I’m happy with any color because what is most important is the mild creamy inside! Delicious. 

Don’t look for Pattypan in the late fall or winter. While it looks like a winter squash, it is a summer variety. It is delicious sautéed in butter, breaded and fried, pickled and made into both cold and warm soups. Pattypan are wonderful sliced and roasted and sliced into an au gratin. I enjoy using the smallest Pattypan as an appetizer. All you have to do is cut off the stem end for a little lid; scoop out a little flesh; chop the flesh and add breadcrumbs and cheese and return it to the squash. Bake them for about 30 – 40 minutes depending upon the size and serve them warm or at room temperature. I also enjoy stuffing the larger sizes and will share a recipe for that today.

We know that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew White Scalloped Squash in their gardens. Recipes from Colonial times are mostly for stewed squash and I have one for creamed squash, which I have made a few times. This squash was highly prized and often used in Colonial America. The Greenwich Historical Society posts a recipe for soup that is flavored with garlic, cayenne pepper, coriander, turmeric, mustard and cinnamon. Doesn’t that sound good? I make that and share it in a few weeks in column on ‘old soups’! If you’d like to learn more about this great historical society, visit

Cookbooks from my favorite vintage time, the 1950s and 1960s, don’t have many squash recipes in them that call specifically for Pattypan, but my own memories include a wonderful combination of thinly sliced squash with fresh corn creamed together. My Aunt Evelyn made that for summertime suppers and served it over toast. My recipe is a little bit like my aunt’s suppertime treat.

Pattypan Stuffed with Cheesy Corn 

6 small Pattypan squash 
2 ears of fresh corn 
1 teaspoon dried minced onion 
2 Tablespoons of butter 
¼ cup dry bread crumbs 
½ cup of shredded Havarti cheese 
2 Tablespoons cream or whole milk 
1 egg 
A dash of salt and pepper 
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves 

Cut the tops off the squash and scoop the raw flesh out. Leave a sturdy shell. Cut the corn off the cob. Sauté the squash, corn and minced onion in the butter until the squash is soft. Let it cool slightly, then mix the breadcrumbs, egg, cream and cheese together. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Stuff each little squash and place them in a baking dish. Add a little bit of water to the dish so the squash will steam a little in the onion. Bake the squash at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, then lay the ‘lids’ in the baking dish and continue to bake for ten minutes so they get done.
The size of the squash determines the amount of time for baking. Just make sure you put the lids in the dish for the last ten minutes. It may only take a total of 30 minutes if the squash are tiny.

This is a part of my 2020 Vintage Vegetable project. If you’d like to see past posts, just click the menu button. I’m also posting with a couple blog parties, so check my sidebar list. Enjoy!

February's Family Sunday Dinner

Christmas 2020

Mary Queen of Scots Dinner Menu Booklet

Grandma Debbie's Christmas 2018

Grandma's Blue & Green Pupkins!

Autumn at Grandma Debbie's