Submitted by Eric Aber, owner/chef, Home Grown Café, Newark
Makes 6 servings
1 pie pumpkin, butternut squash or heirloom variety squash, cooked and puréed (see below)
½-1 cup light maple sugar, light brown sugar or sweetener of your choice
3 large eggs, plus 5 egg yolks
3/4 cup milk, half & half or cream
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon melted butter (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the purée: Cut the pumpkin or squash in half lengthwise. Remove stem and scoop out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet, cut side down, and bake at 400°F for 45-55 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Let cool completely, then peel and mash by hand or purée in a food processor. Measure 2 cups of purée and set aside.
For the custard: Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F, and position an oven rack in the center of the oven. In a mixing bowl, beat the two cups of purée and sugar together using an electric mixer. Add eggs, milk, spices, salt, flour, butter and vanilla. Beat until well-blended. Pour the filling into a casserole dish or individual ramekins to a thickness of about 2 inches. Place in a water bath of preheated hot water (hottest tap water setting is fine) on the center oven rack. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until set. (It’s best to check it after about 35 minutes, so it doesn’t overcook.) When the custard is set, transfer to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream. Serving tip: I like it cold for breakfast!