Monday, December 14, 2009

Squash Custard with Cranberries, Walnuts & Ginger

You know how when you watched the movie Titanic, you found yourself thinking, "maybe it won't sink this time." Even though I knew better than to leave the big Hubbard-y CSA squash in the garage, I did it anyway, thinking somehow the laws of thermodynamics would alter themselves just this one time. But the temperature got so low that the squash froze. I asked my parents if it was okay to quickly cook squash that had frozen, but they weren't sure. I called the County Extension office, but no food people were around.

Sometimes, you just gotta do what seems right. So I hacked off the most frozen parts, cut the rind off the lesser-frozen parts, and microwaved the resulting cubes. Ice crystals in the squash turned into water, so I had to drain the cooked squash. The CSA acorn squash (which I had brought inside) was roasted halved. I was rewarded with a lovely yellow-gold squashy mash. Each squash had a distinct taste; the Hubbard-y one was mild and cool, and the acorn was intense and earthy. I decided to combine them for an ethereal custard.

I wanted to try molasses instead of sugar, but was interested in preserving the beautiful color ... this is SQUASH, not pumpkin, and its appearance should say so. The custard mix was kind of thick, so I tested a cranberry on top and it didn't sink, so I figured a little topping of nuts, ginger and cranberry would lift this into another realm.

Libby's, step aside. Squash just may be the new pumpkin.

2 1/2 cups cooked CSA squash
1/4 cup organic sugar or sucanat
1/4 cup agave syrup
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 local eggs
1 cup organic milk
3/4 cup organic half-n-half

2 tablespoons dried cranberries
2 tablespoons candied ginger
2 tablespoons local walnuts

In blender, combine custard ingredients until smooth. Pour into buttered, shallow 3-quart casserole.

In small food processor, chop ginger pieces until about the size of peas. Add cranberries and chop, then add walnuts and chop. The mixture pieces should be approximately the same size. Sprinkle over top of custard.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

No comments:

Post a Comment