This past Thanksgiving, I wanted to try to make something other than the standard pumpkin or sweet potato pie.
We went to a Thai restaurant for my birthday and they had a delicious seasonal dessert the waitress said we must try. Coconut custard in a kabocha squash. She was correct, it was a must try!
I mean, not only did it taste great, but it was beautifully presented!
So I went on the hunt for the recipe and found an English version someone had translated from Thai. I headed to our local Asian market to find the type of pumpkin that is used, the kabocha squash.
1 1/2 lbs. Kabocha squash
4 large eggs
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
A tiny pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract – optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut off the top of the pumpkin, clean and scrape out all the seeds, rinse and set aside (save the cut lid for cooking).
Whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, palm sugar, salt, and vanilla extract (if using). Boil approximately 2-3 cups of water in an electric kettle or heat safe measuring cup. Place kabocha into a baking dish with room and sides to add water to the bottom.
Pour the mixture directly into the emptied squash. Cover kabocha opening with cut lid. Pour hot water on the outside of the pumpkin to steam in oven. I also put a pan of water on the shelf underneath.
Let bake for 1 1/2-2 hours or until custard sets. Don’t open oven no matter how tempted you are to check – let the custard rise without steam escaping! Turn oven off and let cool in oven. Refrigerate to cool for an hour or overnight. Serve chilled. Eat everything but the pumpkin skin. The Kabocha has a lovely natural sweetness and a nice smooth consistency that goes perfectly with the coconut custard.