Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spiced Squash Pudding or Pumpkin Pudding

Bowl of Squash Pudding with Whipped Cream
Beautifully Butternutted

Recipe adapted from Yankee Magazine

Love pumpkin pie, but hate the calories? Unsatisfied with commercial piecrusts, but don’t have time and/or skills to prepare them yourself? Is preparing pumpkin too time-consuming and messy, yet you eschew the can? Looking for a new twist on old-fashioned flavor with easy preparation? I have good news for you. This recipe adds an unusual spiciness to an easy-prep butternut squash pudding. Although Yankee magazine fashioned this pudding to stand on its own, adding a pastry or crumb crust isn’t out of the question, nor is substituting fresh or canned pumpkin for the squash.

Mixing bowl with eggs and butternut, molasses and butter on the side
Molasses Compliment the Squash
Back in 2000, Yankee Magazine published a supplement called “Fruits of Fall.” It’s a fabulous collection of unusual recipes. Unlike most spiced puddings, this recipe contains no cinnamon at all. Instead, ginger, nutmeg, and molasses make the pudding slightly reminiscent of gingerbread. Other recipes that you might enjoy from this volume include savory Rosemary Chicken with Fennel, Golden Raisin and Carrot Salad with Peanuts with crunchy seed dressing, and zippy Ginger Spiced Cranberry Sauce. All recipes are reprinted with Yankee’s permission, of course!

Squash, butter, molasses, milk, and egg mixture
Simple Prep: Mix it All Together
I reduced the amounts of sugar, salt, and butter in the original pudding recipe, and hubby Bruce and I both liked the results. If you prefer, bring quantities back up to ¾ cup, ¾ teaspoon, and 2 tablespoons respectively.  Instead of 1½ cups of whole milk, I use a can of fat-free evaporated plus 2 tablespoons of lowfat milk. Sometimes I substitute fresh pumpkin puree for the butternut, adding an extra ¼ cup sugar to compensate for pumpkin’s lower content of natural sugar.  You’ll find directions for preparing both butternut and pumpkin puree here, and several methods for DIY pumpkin puree here.

During these next few weeks we’ll see plenty of butternuts and pumpkins at Farmers’ Markets and grocery stores. I hope you’ll enjoy making this easy dessert with the last of this fall’s vegetables.

Bowl of pudding with whipped cream
Delicious with or without Cream
Spiced Squash Pudding (& pumpkin option)
serves 6 – 8

Sunflower or other oil spray
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 – 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk
2 tbsp. milk (lowfat or whole)
1½ cups cooked, pureed butternut squash
2 tbsp. light molasses (not blackstrap)
1 tbsp. melted butter

Spray a 1½ quart casserole lightly with oil spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix together sugar, flour, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until light and foamy. Whisk in evaporated and regular milk. Whisk or beat in pureed squash until well blended. Stir in molasses and melted butter.

Sprinkle sugar mixture into squash mixture and stir to blend thoroughly.

Pour into oiled casserole. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1¼ hours, until center is risen and inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Casserole dish of cooked pumpkin pudding
Pumpkin Pudding is Denser than Squash
Pumpkin Option

This pudding is also delicious with pumpkin if you do the following:

Follow DIY Pumpkin Puree Instructions here. Remember to allow time for puree to drain off liquid. Or try using canned pumpkin (I haven’t tried this yet).

Increase sugar to ¾ cup.

Allow about 15 minutes extra cooking time (1½ hours total). Pumpkin can be denser than squash. Check the pudding at the 1¼ hour mark, and continue baking if needed.

Closeup of Dish of Squash Pudding
Healthy Late Fall Treat

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