Butternut custard bake
Here's a simple, scrumptious, healthy treat for anyone who, like me, loves homemade pumpkin pie year-round, could eat it any day, and doesn't feel the need to include crust. I'll be honest--I always try to be--even if you are like me as just described, this is probably not going to be your favorite dessert. Somewhat pock-marked and unassuming, you're not likely to serve it to company. But bets are you can happily eat it for breakfast, and it makes a really great snack that lovingly stirs a little Thanksgiving feeling without overindulgence. You can use pumpkin, acorn, or a mix of squashes over the butternut, too.
This started as an adaptation of this delectable looking slow cooker recipe for sugar free, gluten free crock pot pumpkin pie pudding, only it turned out more like soup. I had swapped the flour suggested for almond meal and a little rice flour (which, in the below, you could probably forego and just increase the almond flour). I also used a little molasses and maple syrup over Stevia, simplified the spices, used almond milk for evaporated...and completely forgot about the eggs. The result was a soupy mess, but a tasty, salvageable one at least.
Looking at my liquid mix, it struck me that I hadn't saved myself any prep time by using the slow cooker versus popping in the oven. I'd just been drawn to the idea of a crock pot dessert, given how the slow cooker has been my culinary salvation over these past two months that have ushered us into the busy, distracted state of absolute devotion that is new--old, and ongoing--parenting. After whisking in two eggs and baking, I pretty much got what I'd hoped for in the end. And then I had to make it again, sans slow cooker, to make sure it still worked without the 8-hours cooking on low the previous attempt had undergone.
In a (butter)nutshell--ugh, how cheesy, but that's the closest I get to humor after hours of rocking to Raffi everyday--I spent an inordinate time I don't have on an adequate dessert/yummy snack (that I happen to really, really like) because of a fixation on adding "dessert" to the slow cooker repertoire, and at the end of the day I didn't officially use the slow cooker. It happens. You may not find this worth the trouble in the season of pumpkin pie aplenty, either. But if you're tempted, you'll only be indulging in a satisfying, creamy dose of vitamins A, B6 and C, fiber, potassium, and more, plus flavor that doesn't lean on sugar for its goodness.
Incidentally, Raffi really does rock! I never before realized how much. Time is passing by so fast, I'm not only grateful for the rock-a-bye moments swaying to Raffi with my Little Monkey, I'm thankful for the time in a bottle that is already each and every track of each CD.
Butternut custard bake
- 1 3/4 cups butternut squash (or pumpkin/acord/squash mix) puree
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened plain or vanillar almond milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons brown rice flour (or incrase almond flour to 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- Prepare an 8X8 square baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Whisk together all ingredients until well mixed.
- Pour mixture evenly in pan. Bake at 400 F for 35-40 minutes, or until set. Allow to cool slightly and slice into squares to serve (warm or cold).