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Butternut Squash Brle with Maple & Walnuts

Butternut Squash Brûlée with Maple & Walnuts

Adapted from The Ontario Table

We served this dessert as a grand finale to our celebratory dinner featuring the Indigenous cuisines of Canada on October 3, 2013. Although this recipe may take a little time to prepare, it can easily be done ahead of time with the final touches being added to the dessert just before serving. The caramelizing of the top of the pudding with sugar and a blow torch adds a contrasting crunch to the smooth and creamy custard below it.

Serves 8

1 ½ cups butternut squash pureé

2 large eggs

¾ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 ½ cups 10% cream (half and half)

4 tablespoons sour cream

3 tablespoons maple syrup

¼ cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

½ cup sugar

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Half and remove seeds from squash. Place in a shallow roasting pan with 1 cup of water and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until squash is very tender; remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  • In a food processor, scoop in 1 ½ cups of roasted squash (discarding the skin), reserving any remaining squash for another use. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  • Pureé squash with eggs, sugar, salt, and cinnamon until smooth; pour in cream and mix to combine.
  • Pour into 6-ounce ramekins or baking cups and place in a shallow baking pan. Fill pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Carefully remove cups from the water and set aside to cool completely. At this point the custard can be refrigerated up-to three days in advance.
  • Prepare maple cream by combining sour cream with maple syrup.
  • To caramelize the tops of the custards, spoon 1 tablespoon of sugar onto each cup and gently shake the cup to create an even layer of sugar. Using a blowtorch, slowly melt and caramelize the sugar, moving the flame as necessary to evenly brown. Set aside to cool.
  • To serve: spoon maple-cream over brulée and top with chopped walnuts.

Chef Cindy Bircham