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Acorn Squash with Coconut Custard

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 constantly with 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.

Adapted from Saveur Magazine