A month ago today, I wrote a blogpost about how I prepare acorn squash in the wood cookstove. I still have a lot of squash to deal with, and I also have WAY TOO MANY CANS of sweetened condensed milk on hand (this I cannot explain because I'm not sure how it happened). Thus, I dug out a recipe that I devised when I lived in the little house--over twenty years ago now! Really, this is a recipe for pumpkin pie using canned pumpkin, but cooked acorn squash works just fine in it with a little tweaking.
Since canned pumpkin is sold by weight, I had to weigh the squash pulp to figure out how much twenty-nine ounces would be. I think a safe bet would be two and a half to three cups of UNSWEETENED squash pulp. Do take the time to run it through the blender so that you don't end up with stringy custard.
|Squash puree and sweetened condensed milk.|
|All the ingredients in the custard waiting to be beaten together.|
|The custard once it was completely mixed.|
|Squash pies ready to go into the oven.|
Place the pies in a hot oven (about 400ºF or more). Bake for ten to fifteen minutes at this high temperature, and then let your fire cool to a more moderate oven for another 35-45 minutes or until the custard is completely puffed up and does not appear to jiggle in the middle. Another reliable way to test this sort of pie is to insert a table knife into the custard half way between the edge and the center. The knife will come out completely clean if the pie is done.
When you bake in a woodburning cookstove, it is very important to know what signs foods exhibit when they are properly and thoroughly cooked rather than relying on a certain amount of time to have elapsed at a certain temperature. Actually, I feel like knowing these signs is important even when baking in a modern oven. I am absolutely convinced that if we were aware of how much the temperature in a modern oven truly fluctuates, we would be quite surprised.
Pardon my soapbox, but while I'm on the subject of modern ovens, I would also like to say that I find it quite amusing when I hear people complain about there being hot spots in wood cookstove ovens. In both our new gas oven (2012) and my parents' high-end electric oven (2011), even with the convection fan on, these modern ovens have hot spots. You can easily detect them in a pan of our Roadhouse Dinner Rolls or baking powder biscuits. This situation was the same in a commercial oven I used earlier this year, too. Uneven oven heating seems to me to just be a fact of life, and we cooks just have to learn to deal with it.
Sorry, but I feel better now.
|The pies just after they had been put in the Margin Gem's oven.|