Friday, March 07, 2008

Almost pumpkin

I know its pumpkin week, but unfortunately California didn't get the memo. While it is easy to pick up canned pumpkin year round, its more difficult to find actual pumpkins. This means that sometimes when I want to make a pumpkin dish, I get stuck using a substitute like butternut squash. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE butternut squash but how likely do you think it is that Starbucks will be coming up with a Butternut Squash latte anytime soon?

I very close cousin to the pumpkin, butternut squash has a natural sweetness that works really well in both savory and sweet dishes. It's exceptional for roasting and serving as a side, but its equally as tasty in tarts, pies, and baked like apples!

For a total twist on Apple Pie a la Mode, try making it with butternut squash. And with a little sopapilla instead of a crust, its a very fancy alternative!

Butternut Squash Sopapillas with Cream
1 cup and 2 Tbsp AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups and 3 1/2 Tbsp ice water
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 cup crema mexicana
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup seeded, peeled, and cubed butternut squash
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 Tsp molasses
1 strip of orange peel
1 cinnamon stick
1 chile de arbol, seeded
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
vegetable oil

1) Whisk flour and salt in bowl.
2) Add butter. Using fingertips, rub butter into flour mixture until coarse meal forms.
3) Whisk egg, 2 1/2 Tbsp water and vinegar in small bowl. Drizzle over flour mixture. Stir with fork until just incorporated. Knead on floured surface until dough comes together. Form into disk, wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour.
4) Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8 in. thick round. Using 4-in. round cookie cutter, cut into 6 rounds.
5) Whisk 1/2 cup sugar and ground cinnamon in bowl. Pour oil into heavy large saucepan to depth of 4 inches. Heat oil. Place dough rounds in oil and submerge until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Repeat with remaining rounds. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
6) Place 1/4 cup sugar, egg yolks, and 1 Tbsp water in double boiler. Whisk constantly about three minutes.
7) Whisk in Crema. Cool completely.
8) Beat whipping cream in Kitchenaid until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into cooled crema. Cover. Freeze until firm, 4 hours.
9) Place 2 cups water and butternut squash, brown sugar, molasses, orange peel, cinnamon stick, and chile in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until squash is just tender, about 15 minutes. Strain syrup; transfer squash to medium bowl. Return cooking syrup and spices to saucepan. Simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool. Pour syrup over squash.
10) Place 1 sopapilla on each plate and divide squash among them. Spoon 1 scoop frozen cream over each, drizzle with remaining syrup, and serve.

Serves 6.
Each serving has:
Calories 503.5
Total Fat 21.5 g
Cholesterol 181.6 mg
Sodium 309.8 mg
Potassium 304.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 75.1 g
Protein 5.0 g


  1. I'm not sure about squash, but it sure looks yummy.

  2. I am literally drooling over here! Is it lunch time yet?

  3. you make my day :)

  4. I'm looking at this cross eyed at the thought of butternut squash as dessert =/

    It is dessert right?

    And I'm going to have to google soapapillas. (sp?)