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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Butternut Squash Pudding

Butternut Squash also sometimes referred to as butternut pumpkin or butterscotch squash depending on location. This type of winter squash grows on a vine and has a sweet nutty taste that is similar to that of a pumpkin. The tan yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds in the bottom. As the fruit ripens the flesh will become more and more orange and the taste sweeter and richer. This type of squash is great source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, vitamin A and E.

Butternut squash is a fruit but can be cooked as you would a vegetable. Via process of roasting, toasting, puree for soups or mashed and used in casseroles, breads and muffins.

The recipe that we will make today is for butternut squash pudding. My grandmothers loved the delicious recipe and made it around the many reunions and holidays. In the days of my childhood I can remember no large delis like they have today and instead the family bakers and cooks took pride in showing off their latest dish.

3 T butter
3 T flour
1 shallot, very finely chopped
2 clove of garlic, roasted and smushed (see below)
pinch of thyme
pinch of sage
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, well chopped
1/2 cup goat’s cheese, crumbled.
3 eggs – separated
pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup roasted butternut squash purée. (Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds. Place it face down on a tray, with a few garlic cloves set in the spaces where the seeds were. Roast at 450 for 40 minutes or more, until the outside is starting to brown and it collapses when you press on it with a knife. Let it cool, and then peel the skins off. Put it into a processor with the garlic and whirl it up. This recipe uses a cup, but you can use the rest in soup, or in Butternut-beer-pies, which I’ll tell you about in a little while…)
salt and plenty of pepper.
Warm the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it’s bubbling and just starting to brown, add the flour, and whisk well. Cook it through for a few minutes.
Add the shallot and herbs, and continue cooking till everything looks dry and like it’s starting to brown.
Pour in the milk. Whisk well, and stir for a few minutes till it’s thick and smooth. Take it off the heat and very carefully whisk in the egg yolks. You don’t want them to cook and curdle. I’m a coward about cooking egg yolks in this type of dish, so I returned it to the hot burner, but left the burner off, and cooked it a few minutes more. When it’s nice and thick and cooked through, take it off the heat and scrape it into a large bowl. Stir in the squash, the goat cheese and the tarragon. Don’t worry about getting it perfectly smooth. Add salt and pepper.
Whisk the egg whites till they’re quite stiff but not dry. If you have cream of tartar, whisk in a pinch of that, it will speed the process.
Very very carefully, fold the egg whites into the squash mixture.
Pour into a casserole dish or wide flat bowl that’s been greased and floured.
Bake at 400 degrees (preheated) for about 1/2 an hour, till it’s puffed and brown and crispy on top.

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