Delicious and Fun Thai Custard-inna-Pumpkin
I know that you lose sleep over trying to figure out how to get more vegetables into your dessert. Well, snuggle up for a good long snooze, because here’s a recipe to bring you peace! I found this recipe in the Heirloom Gardener Winter 2012- 2013 edition. The magazine is created by the people who bring you Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (organic). A wonderful article about Thai cooking by Wendy Kiang-Spray features this intriguing recipe, and I had to try it. You hollow out a small Thai or Kabocha squash (they are drier in texture), fill it with a coconut milk custard, steam it, and Bob’s your uncle!
I just happened to have a 2.5 lb homegrown Kabocha squash handy, so I made the recipe (adding a little cinnamon). Not wanting to be scared alone, I brought the whole cooled squash over to my friend Lara’s house, who helping me fulfill last year’s New Years resolution by teaching me basic piano. Being a vegetarian and a loyal friend, she was game to try it. It came out very good. I was impressed. I will do this again!
Troubleshooting: whisk the ingredients together. I thought I’d be fancy and put them into my VitaMix on the lowest setting, but even that added a little too much air to the custard mixture.
The top of the custard that I could see was yellowish, and I figured that this was due to the dark yolk in the eggs from my chickens, but I don’t know. Once cut into, though, the custard as a lovely white.
I turned my steamer on high until it was boiling, then turned the temperature down low and the custard wasn’t done in the allotted time. Next time I’ll keep it at a higher boil so that the steam is hotter. I cooked it much longer (I think too long because I was doing other things) and the squash split a little as it was very soft. I kept it in the steamer with something between the soft side and the inside of the steamer so that the squash would keep its shape as it cooled. After it was room temperature, I put it in the refrigerator for a short time and it the squash didn’t fall apart when I removed it.
Ms. Kiang-Spray states in her article that this recipe is known in Thailand as Sankaya and is a classic dessert. With all the eggs and tasty squash, I’d call this breakfast or lunch, too!
- 1 2 -3 pound dry-fleshed squash such as Kabocha or Thai pumpkin.
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 5 eggs (preferably at room temperature)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Bring two quarts of water to a boil in the bottom half of a steamer pot.
- Use a cup to trace a circle around the top of the pumpkin.
- Cut the lid off around the guideline.
- Hollow out the inside with a spoon, making sure to get all the fibers.
- In a bowl gently whisk until combined the rest of the ingredients.
- Place the squash into the steamer basket.
- Pour custard through a sieve into the pumpkin leaving an inch to the top (filling will rise).
- Include the squash lid next to, but not on top of, the squash.
- Steam covered and undisturbed for 55 minutes until a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean.
- Remove steamer basket from over heat and allow squash to come to room temperature.
- Slice into wedges (in front of admiring company!) and serve.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.