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Butternut Squash Pudding with Candied Pecans

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This is such a delicious pudding to make. Beaten egg whites are folded into the squash, giving it a light texture, and then also spread over the surface for a meringue topping. It makes a nice change of pace from the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie—although, at my house, some people are known to enjoy this dish with their dinner instead of afterwards.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

  • Candied Pecans
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves (about 3 ounces)

  • Butternut Squash Pudding
  • 2 pounds butternut squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature

Preparation:

1. To make the candied pecans: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.

2. In heavy small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and cream of tartar. Stir over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with pastry brush dipped in water and swirling pan, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Immediately stir in pecans.

3. Pour the mixture out onto prepared baking sheet. Working quickly and using 2 forks, separate the pecans. Cool completely. Break candied pecans apart.

4. To make the butternut squash pudding: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and discard the seeds and membrane. Place the squash halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until tender when tested with a fork. Remove from the oven and let cool.

5. Peel the butternut squash halves and place the pulp in a food processor. Add 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract and the cinnamon, and process until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the squash mixture to a medium skillet and keep warm over low heat.

6. Place 3/4 cup of sugar in small skillet. Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until sugar is golden. Immediately pour the caramelized sugar into warm squash mixture, stirring constantly. Set aside.

7. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites at high speed until foamy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until well blended.

8. Fold half of the egg whites into the squash mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish. Spread the remaining egg whites evenly over the top to edge of dish.

9. Bake the pudding for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden. Serve warm with the candied pecans.

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