Thursday, March 10, 2011

Recipe: Squash Custard and variations

This recipe is super-simple and amazingly healthy and satisfying. And I've included a few tempting variations. And by the way, I've tried them all.

Basic recipe. This recipe makes a lot of custard, because I find it disappears very fast. Good for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

4 cups cooked squash. (Make your own for the tastiest cooked squash. I LOVE buttercup squash for this.)
4 eggs
2 cans coconut cream or coconut milk, not light (You can make your own following this recipe)
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar

Stir the sugar into the squash. Beat up the eggs until frothy and stir them into the squash until it is well-blended. Add the coconut milk and blend it in. Butter a baking dish (13x9 will work for this recipe), pour in the custard mix, and bake at 325 for an hour, or until the center is just barely set.

Variations. You can combine any of these for even more variations:

Spicy: Mix 1 T (or more) pumpkin pie spice into the sugar before mixing the sugar with the squash. Or just use cinnamon. Or use cardamom.
Tropical: Stir the liquid in one can of crushed or chunk pineapple into the mix after adding the coconut milk. When blended, stir in the pineapple. This will take a bit longer to bake adequately.
Very Mainstream: Replace the coconut milk with whipping cream. Or whole milk. Or non-fat milk if you must.
Honey: Replace the sugar with honey. Don't replace the sugar with any artificial sweeteners!
Ginger: Chop candied ginger until it is about the size of a kernel of corn. Add up to half a cup before baking.
Chocolate chip: I don't actually like this much. I feel the chocolate is too indelicate for the squash. But I have made it and you might like it: Add 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits before baking.
Fake creme brulee: Sprinkle the top lightly with granulated sugar before baking.

Serve any of these with whipped cream or ice cream, warm or cold.

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