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Baked Sweet Dumpling Squash with Pumpkin Custard

As you know I LOVE a gourd. Gourds of all kinds can be found on my entranceway, dining room table and kitchen counter, but when I found out one of my fav was actually considered a squash my world was turned upside down!

Sweet Dumpling Squash are readily available in the Fall and are great for filling kitchen island baskets with seasonal color but let’s open up our eyes – and mouths – to the wide variety of recipes for Sweet Dumpling Squash, a hit in my home is baked with pumpkin custard. Serve it for dessert on Thanksgiving or to end your upcoming Fall gathering.

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Squash versus Gourd versus Pumpkin :: what’s the difference?

The family screams Fall but I can barely say the name. The Cucurbitaceae family is the latin name for gourds, squash and pumpkins, which most of us tend to simply lump into one big category of bumpy, viney, some say ugly, I say gorgeous, ground growing beauties that we generally associate with Fall.

Read on to amaze your friends with your Squash, Gourds and Pumpkins knowledge.

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sweet-dumpling-squash-with-baked-pumpkin-custard-kraylfunch-2Gourds.

The ornamental squash, hardshell, bottle and turban are the most common gourds seen on tablescapes, grouped in glass vessels and adorning mantles in the Autumn, aren’t generally meant for eating. Mainly decorative, our current day gourds – my spirit fruit {or is it vegetable… no fruit} – have been used throughout history in many ways including as tools, musical instruments and food. The are a staple in my seasonal decorating projects with clients and in my own home.

Squash. 

Hubbard, butternut, acorn, sweet dumpling and spaghetti squash {just to get the party started} that are perfect for roasting, souping, dicing, pureeing or any other shape or form you prefer to eat them. Most squash have a thick skin and dense flesh you must cut through in order to use for most squash recipes. However, once you cut back the skin simply scoop out the seeds {save them for toasting with a bit of kosher salt} and you are ready to go.  

Pumpkin.

The most popular of the cucuritaceae, pumpkins are both ornamental and edible. The super mini’s are more like gourds when it comes to getting any flesh from them for cooking but DO not discount them as a serving vessel or other ornamental seasonal piece. Medium and Large pumpkins make great entranceway decor, carved or un-carved, as well as provide tons of glorious flesh for recipes calling for pumpkin.

So the bottom line is – pumpkin is sort of “our” term for the round orange squash and not a biological name. 

I say let’s celebrate the season with the entire family! Squash, gourds and pumpkins are welcome on my table or plate any day. 

See my recipe for Baked Sweet Dumpling Squash with Pumpkin Custard below.

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Baked Sweet Dumpling Squash with Pumpkin Custard
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Ingredients
  1. INGREDIENTS
  2. 6 Sweet Dumpling Squash small - medium (about 4-inches in diameter), for baking and serving
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
  6. 1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 2 cups pumpkin puree
  10. 1 cup half and half
  11. 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill brown sugar
  12. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  13. 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill walnuts, chopped, toasted
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the top third of each squash, as well as a small slice on the bottom so squash sits upright. Remove pulp and seeds from each squash.
  2. Coat the inside of each squash with brown sugar and orange zest. Wipe top edges of squash of all residue. Bake squash and tops upright on a parchment-lined baking pan 25 minutes, remove tops and set aside at 15 minutes so they hold their shape.
  3. Remove from oven and fill each squash with about 1/2 -1 cup pumpkin puree. Bake 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 bake for an additional 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  4. Melt butter in a large skillet, heat on medium high heat while watching until butter begins to froth and become carmel color. 2 teaspoons of brown sugar to butter, reduce heat to medium. Stir until sugar has begun to caramelize. Add chopped walnuts stir to coat. Heat until warm and butter is fully absorbed, 5 - 10 minutes. Garnish squash with walnuts, baked top and serve warm.
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