Pumpkin with Spiced Coconut Custard
Although this recipe is Thai in origin, it mimics the preparation that the Pilgrim settlers first used when introduced to this native fruit. They would hollow the pumpkin and pour milk, eggs, and spices into the cavity and bake it until the pumpkin was soft and the custard set. When serving, also give some pumpkin as well as the custard to your guests.
- With your knife angled 45° towards the center, cut a large whole in the top of the pumpkin.
- Remove the seeds and all of the stringy fiber from the interior of the pumpkin as well as its lid. Discard (unless you want the pumpkin seeds for roasting).
- Lightly scrape the inside of the pumpkin with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle cavity with a little salt and then rub the tablespoon of oil into the flesh of the pumpkin inside. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a low-sided jelly roll pan with foil.
- Bake unfilled pumpkin for 40 minutes with the stem lid in place. Remove lid and bake 15 minutes more.
- Whisk the eggs until well beaten, and then add the remaining ingredients. Whisk until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pumpkin and replace the top of the pumpkin.
- Bake for an additional 45 minutes or until pumpkin is soft and custard is set.
- Serve hot or warm scooping out some of the cooked pumpkin with the custard.
- Serve as a side dish or serve as a dessert with any caramelized liquid that forms on the bottom of the pan.
- To prevent possible curdling, rub the inside of the pumpkin lightly with oil to create a small barrier between the slightly acidic pumpkin and the custard.