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Cushaw Squash (or Pumpkin) Flan
Cushaw is a species of winter squash that is believed to have originated in southern Mexico. It can be used in just about any recipe that calls for pumpkin. And it also can be used in savory dishes where you might use butternut. This versatile squash can be intimidating by its sheer size, but you can also process it now, freeze in small batches, and use for months to come. Use some of the baked puree of a Cushaw for this easy and exquisite desert.
- 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups cushaw squash (or pumpkin) puree
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon brandy flavoring
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Handful of pecan halves, toasted
SPRINKLE sugar into a 1 quart flan pan; place pan over medium heat. Using oven mitts, caramelize sugar by shaking pan occasionally until sugar melts and turns light brown; cool. (Sugar may crack as it cools.)
PROCESS condensed milk and next 8 ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Pour over caramelized sugar in flan pan.
PLACE flan pan in a large shallow pan. Pour hot water into large pan to a depth of 1 inch or 1/2 way up the side of the flan pan.
BAKE at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
REMOVE the flan pan from water; cool on a wire rack 25 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.
LOOSEN edges of flan with a spatula, and invert onto a serving plate. Dip tops of pecan halves in caramel mixture left in pan; arrange, coated side up, around edge of flan.
Adapted from Gourmet Sleuth.com