Acorn Squash with Coconut Custard

November 6, 2008

Acorn Squash with Coconut Custard

Adapted from Saveur Magazine

This is a traditional dish in Thailand and Laos. Thai recipes call
for sprinkling the custard with anise seed. Ground nutmeg
would be a nice garnish, too.

1 large or 2 smaller acorn squash
1/2 cup canned coconut cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. fine salt
3 eggs

Using a long, sharp knife, cut off the top of the squash, about 1″
from the stem end. Discard top. Using a spoon, scoop out and
discard the seeds and the fibers to make a hollow cavity. Set
aside.

In a 1-qt. saucepan, whisk together the coconut cream and
1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium
heat, while whisking occasionally; remove from heat and let sit
for 10 minutes to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, whisk
together the remaining brown sugar with the salt and eggs, until
eggs are smooth and pale yellow.While whisking the eggs,
slowly drizzle in the hot coconut cream mixture. Transfer
mixture to top of a double boiler set over simmering water and
cook, stirring constantlywith a wooden spoon, until mixture
thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 4 minutes. Heat
oven to 325°.

Pour custard into the reserved squash and set on
rack in the bottom of an 8″ x 8″ baking dish. Pour 1 cup boiling
water into dish. Bake until a knife inserted into center of custard
comes out clean, about 2 hours. Alternatively, you can place
squash in a steamer and cook about 45-60 minutes, until squash
is tender and custard is set. Let cool; slice into 6 pieces.
Sprinkle with garnish if using.

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