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Patty Pan or Scallop Squash

Squash yellow pattypan
Pattypan summer squash
Gently wipe fruit clean with a damp cloth and then store in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator.

Patty pan or scallop squash is a small, saucer-shaped warm-season squash that usually grows to no more than 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Patty pan squashes look something like a toy top. They can be white to creamy colored or various shades of green or yellow. Patty pans are less moist than other summer squashes such as zucchini. They actually grow more firm as they ripen similar to winter squashes, so they are best harvested and eaten when they are young and tender.

Cook. Place a whole, washed patty pan in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for about 4 to 5 minutes or until just tender pierced with a fork. Patty pans can also be quartered and brushed with olive oil and roasted for about 10 minutes. Patty pan slices can be sautéed until just tender. They can also be stuffed with chopped onion, meat, cheese, and spices and baked.

Grow. Patty pan squashes are for summer growing and require 45 to 55 frost-free days to reach harvest. Most patty pans have an open vining habit but rarely stand more than 3 feet tall. Squash require full sun and regular deep watering.

Hybrid patty pans varieties include:

Peter Pan is well scalloped from 2½ to 3 inches across at harvest. Peter Pan is light green with a small blossom end scar. Peter Pan has a pale green flesh and is meaty. Allow 50 frost-free days to grow and harvest Peter Pan.

Scallopini is a scalloped-shaped squash with medium fluting 2½ to 3 inches across at harvest. Scallopini has dark green speckled skin similar to a zucchini. Scallopini has a sweet, nut-like flavor. Allow 52 frost-free days to grow and harvest scallopini.

Sunburst is a hybrid medium-sized deeply scalloped squash about 2½ to 3 inches across. Sunburst has a bright yellow skin with a dark green sunburst on both the blossom and stem ends. Sunburst has a creamy white flesh and a delicate sweet, buttery flavor. Sunburst requires 52 frost-free days to mature.

Sunny Delight (pictured above) is a medum-size hybrid scallop squash about 2½ to 3 inches across, very similar to Sunburst but without the green marking at the blossom and stem ends. Sunny Delight is light butter yellow colored and and flavorful. This squash requires 45 frost-free days to mature.

Open pollinated patty pan varieties include:

Benning’s Green Tint is scallop-shaped from 2 to 2½ inches deep and 3 to 4 inches across at havest. This squash has a pale green skin and flesh and is thick and tender. Benning’s Green Tint is a long producer and is ready for harvest after 55 frost-free days.

White Bush, also called White Patty Pan and Early White Bush, is a pale green skinned squash that turns to near white by harvest time. White Bush is 2½ to 3 inches deep and 5 to 7 inches across, quite large for a patty pan. The flesh is white, tender, and succulent. White Bush requires 55 frost-free days to harvest.

Wood’s Earliest Prolific is slightly scalloped 2 to 2½ inches deep and 3 to 4 inches in diameter. The skin is pale green to pale greenish-white at maturity. Wood’s Earliest produces throughout the season and requires 50 frost-free days to harvest.

Yellow Bush, also called Golden Bush, Early Yellow Bush, and Yellow Custard, is deeply scalloped about 3 inches deep and 5 inches across. Yellow Bush has a deep yellow skin mottled with pale yellow. It’s flesh is yellowish-white and flavorful. Yellow Bush requires 60 days to harvest.

Patty pan squashes are also known as cymling, custard marrow, or custard squash. The name patty pan comes from an old-style pan for baking pattys. The word cymling comes from the English simnal cake which is fluted. The French call patty pan squash pâtisson which is a Provençal word for a cake made in a scalloped mold.

Pictured above: ‘Sunny Delight’ squash,

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. Harvesttotable.com has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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  1. I’ve substituted the Sunny Delight squash in a Zucchini loaf recipe, and it was wonderful. I’ve also ground up the Sunny Delights and put them into 4 cup serving quantities and then froze them so that I could make loaves in the winter.

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