I know you’ve been holding your breath for days, anxious to hear about my quality time with Mr. Cushaw.
Looking for inspiration on the world wide web, I stumbled across this blog and picked up enough bits and pieces to formulate a recipe that I could live with. While I didn’t exactly want to turn my cushaw squash into a dessert, I did want to enjoy the sweet & cinnamon-y flavors of fall (which works well considering it tastes like a cross between butternut and pumpkin). So the recipe that I’m about to share falls somewhere in the middle, wedged between a sweet side dish and a savory dessert.
As Brian, Bennett and I attended a luncheon after church this past Sunday, I can vouch that this fed at least ten people and there were leftovers. (No, not like a TON of leftovers due to it being inedible; no, just enough leftovers to know that I didn’t make too little.) Funnily enough, Mr. Cushaw is such a beast that I still have the entire bottom round of the squash to make, oh I don’t know, another 300 dishes or so. The thing is huge. So, yeah, only the neck portion was used in the making of this dish.
Sweet Baked Cushaw Squash
- the neck of one large cushaw squash, chopped into rather large chunks, approx. 1″ thick (I shaped mine like pie slices), cut shell off (yes, I needed a butcher knife to accomplish this)
- 1 C. cream
- 1/2 C. whole milk
- 1/2 C. agave nectar
- 1/4 C. sucanat cane sugar
- 2 t. ground cinnamon
- approx. 1/4 of a freshly grated nutmeg (I used a zester to accomplish this)
- approx. 3 T. butter
- 3/4 t. salt
Preheat oven to 400°. Shingle the chunks of squash in a large casserole dish.
Pour cream and milk over the squash. (Disclaimer: When I have the option to buy farm fresh, I buy in bulk and freeze my cream. It never quite thaws to the same consistency. So rather than being runny, it’s slightly crystalized and therefore perched atop the squash. This won’t happen to you, I’m sure!)
Drizzle the agave over the squash and generously sprinkle the dry ingredients all over, including grating the nutmeg over the dish.
Spread little dabs of butter over the dish, trying to “tag” each piece. (I made my butter and it’s unsalted. I suppose that if you used salted butter, you might be able to skip salting the dish.)
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for one hour. Finally, remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
Serve to your loved ones!
In hind sight, perhaps I’d bathe the squash in more cream & milk. While it maintained a perfect balance between firm and soft, there was an extra delicious element to the portion of squash that spent more time soaking up all that creamy goodness. But if I didn’t have the extra dairy laying around, I’d be just as happy to remake this recipe to a tee.
Let me know if you ever attempt this yourself! Feel free to pin this in the event that you ever stumble across a cushaw squash yourself and need a recipe to justify its purchase!
(And thank you to Kelly the Kitchen Kop for helping me to realize that I could brave something like this with a more “real food” approach!)