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Sunshine Squash Creme Brulee - Caramelized sugar topping and a yummy, squash custard makes for a dish that is creamy, comforting and a great way to make something different with winter squash. | justalittlebitofbacon.com
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Sunshine Squash Creme Brulee

Caramelized sugar topping and a yummy, squash custard makes for a dish that is creamy, comforting and a great way to make something different with winter squash.
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Just a Little Bit of Bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 cup roasted sunshine squash or other sweet, winter squash
  • 1 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • ----
  • 4 tbsp superfine sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300F. Set out 4 6-oz ramekins in a square pan. An 8 or 9-inch cake pan works just fine.
  • Fill a tea kettle with water and begin heating it on high.
  • Puree squash with cream, cinnamon, and allspice in the blender. If it seems a little too thick, add 1/4 cup more half and half. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a medium pot and heat over medium heat to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
  • While you are waiting for the squash to heat up, separate the eggs and put the egg yolks into a large bowl. Add sugar and vanilla and whisk yolks until they are light colored and fall in ribbons from the whisk, about 1 minute.
  • Now it's time to temper the eggs and combine everything together. While whisking the eggs continuously, add a ladle-full of the hot cream mixture to the eggs in a slow stream. Don't just dump it in. Go slowly at first. Add more ladles of cream while whisking until you've added about half. Now lift up the pot and carefully pour the remaining cream into the egg mixture and whisk it all together.
  • Divide the custard among the ramekins. Put the ramekins and their pan into the oven. Pour hot water around them until it reaches about half way up the sides.
  • Bake the creme brulees for 50 minutes, or until the custards are set around the edges and only jiggle a little bit in the middle. Remove the custards from the water bath and let them cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Put them in the fridge and cool them at least an additional 2 hours. Custards can remain in the fridge overnight.
  • Once you are ready to eat, sprinkle enough superfine sugar over the tops so that you can barely or not at all see the color of the custard, anywhere from 2 tsp to 1 tbsp of sugar per custard. Too thin a layer of sugar will lead to a disappointing crunch when you eat.
  • To caramelize the tops, either use a torch, moving the torch back and forth around the top of the custard until all the sugar is melted. Or broil the custards for 5-7 minutes on the top level of the oven closest to the broiler. Keep a close on them and be ready to remove them earlier if need be.

Notes

Superfine sugar can be hard to find in the supermarket. However, a quick, few seconds with a blender will turn regular, granulated into superfine. Just add some granulated sugar to the blender (I do it by the cup), process for 30 seconds and you have superfine for all your sugary needs.
To roast the sunshine squash (one of them makes about 2 cups of squash), I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, and roasted it upside-down in a casserole dish with 1/2 cup of water and covered with foil at 400F for 30 minutes.