Friday, 11 November 2011

A Grate Pumpkin Dessert

Crema di Zucca, Zenzero & Sansho al Forno
Butternut, Ginger & Sansho Baked Custard

What a nice surprise this morning, when I got to the office and found that little butternut squash waiting for me on my desk. Of course it could only have been Peggy again- she occasionally brings me little gifts from the garden... apples recently from a good friend of hers and now this. So kind! Thanks so much ladies! You not only made my day- but you helped me make my dessert too!

I had no idea what to do with a butternut squash- the only thing I did know, was that I wanted to make something sweet. So I just jumped right on in and started off by finely grating the pumpkin and some ginger. I then stirred it around in a dry non-stick frying pan, until it began to change color and render down into a smoother mix. I added cinnamon, a little nutmeg, a pinch of salt and a grating of orange zest. I sweetened it with a little honey and then deglazed the pan with regular milk and stirred vigorously until the pumpkin became nice and creamy in consistency.

I then transferred it to a bowl- this was a small squash- so there was about 2 coffee cups full of squash after cooking. I added 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder and 1 egg whilst the mixture was still hot and whisked it together with a little milk until it was light and fluffy. And then I had the idea with the Sansho pepper...

I was planning on adding a little chili into the dessert, as one does nowadays, but then I suddenly remembered the hot, lemony pepper I bought last week and decided to do something a little crazy by adding a pinch of Sansho into the mix. I poured it into an oven-prove dish and popped it into a preheated oven, for 30 mins at a temperature of 180°C.

After that time, the apartment was filled with a wonderful perfume and the pumpkin mix had baked firmly and had a lovely golden color. I made a makeshift stencil and decorated with a light dusting of powdered sugar... that would have to be enough for this evening- because I wanted to enjoy this whilst it was hot! And I think probably that you will too!

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