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Kabocha squash creme caramel

Kabocha squash creme caramel
Los Angeles Times

Halfway through a bright, breeze-driven November morning, in the open kitchen of a high-ceilinged wooden house in Topanga, about five miles inland and up the Santa Monica Mountains from the Pacific Ocean, chef Christian Shaffer stands at the stove making ... Read more

Total time: 3 hours, 40 minutes, plus overnight chilling | Serves 12
  • 1/2 small kabocha squash (about 3 cups cubed)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 quart whipping cream
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Step 1Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Peel and seed the kabocha squash and cut it into about 1-inch cubes. You should have 3 cups of cubed squash.

Step 2In a heavy-bottomed sauce pot, melt the butter and add one-half cup sugar, squash and 3 tablespoons water and bring to a simmer; then turn the heat to low and cover. Make sure to check the squash frequently and stir until the mixture is a puree, about 30 minutes. You should have 1 cup puree.

Step 3Meanwhile, mix the cream, eggs, yolks, 1 cup sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt. Let stand 1 hour.

Step 4Take the remaining 1 cup sugar and, in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over high heat, melt the sugar and cook it until it caramelizes to a deep amber color, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the caramelized sugar evenly into the bottom of a bread loaf pan, and let cool 5 minutes.

Step 5Pass the cooked squash through a fine sieve. Add 1 cup of the strained squash to the cream mixture. Mix well, then pour into the loaf pan.

Step 6Place the loaf pan into a larger baking dish. Fill the dish with hot water, about 1 1/2 inch high around the loaf pan, and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the creme caramel is set and the center has a slight jiggle.

Step 7Let cool 1 hour on a wire rack, then cover and chill overnight. When you are ready to unmold the creme caramel, loosen the sides with a small spatula. Dip the loaf pan into a pan of hot water to loosen the bottom and sides. Invert onto a serving platter.

Note: From Christian Shaffer. You will need a 9-inch glass loaf pan.


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