This makes for a striking presentation and is best served warm. Can also serve this at room temperature or even cold.
MAKES 12 TO 18 SERVINGS (DEPENDING ON SQUASH)
1 (6-pound) or 2 (3-pound) squash (see Note)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups heavy cream or milk
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash ground cloves and nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut off top of squash and scoop out seeds and fiber.
Whisk eggs into cream or milk. Add sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until smooth. Pour into hollowed-out squash; sprinkle top with spices.
Place stuffed squash in a baking dish or on baking sheet. Bake, covered with foil, for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until squash is tender and custard is well-set.
Cooking time will vary depending on size of squash. Figure about 2 hours for 2 (3-pound) squashes; very large squashes may take up to 6 hours. Serve whole and have each guest scoop out a portion of squash and custard together.
Note: Westerhoff prefers Jarrahdale squash because of its squat shape; kabocha squash or small pie pumpkins also would work well.
Vicki Westerhoff, Genesis Growers
Nutrition facts per serving: 250 calories, 16 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 108 mg cholesterol, 25 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 42 mg sodium, 3 g fiber
Toss together 10 to 12 peeled, diced apples; 1 cup raisins; 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or chestnuts good); 1 cup chopped celery (optional); 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar; 1 tablespoon cinnamon and lemon juice (you may have extra filling, depending on size of squash).
Firmly pack filling into cut squash (small butternut squash works well), heaping as much as possible. Bake at 350 degrees, covered with foil, until squash is tender (remove foil 30 minutes before done; cooking time will vary as in custard version).