Spaghetti squash is a fun, versatile vegetable. It's a great healthy substitute for pasta and can be eaten with tomato sauce or I really enjoy eating it straight up with a little cinnamon, cardamom, and a little nutmeg. It's packed with folic acid, potassium, Vitamin A, and beta carotene with only 42 calories per cup! I decided to fatten it up a bit by candying the already sweet squash and using it to make a dessert tart. I really had no idea how the end result would turn out, but I was hoping for what I ended up with. The custard and candy sweet squash blended really well together. I made this with a friend and brought it to a party. I found it amusing that people who have never had spaghetti squash thought I had used spaghetti pasta and sweet cheese! So, I am pleased to introduce this phenomenal food to those who may have never tried it before.
1 Spaghetti squash
(Betty Crocker original)
1 cup evaporated milk
11/2 cups soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt
Note: I modified my recipe and added 1 tablespoon of corn flour and 2 tablespoons of shortening after making this crust.
Preheat oven to 350F. Cut Squash in half, lengthwise. It helps to have a good knife and strong muscles to do this. I had a knife and my friend had the muscles! Brush with canola oil. Season with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Bake until you can easily separate spaghetti-like striations off the squash with fork (~30 min.).
Prepare dough for the pie crust while the squash is cooking. After chilling the dough, roll out and place in tart pan. Poke the dough with a fork and place in freezer for at least 15min. or until squash is done. Remove squash from oven and remove its fabulous spaghetti insides. Bake pie crust until you just start to see it turning golden brown.
|It really is squash!|
Candying The Squash
I am fairly inexperienced with candying. In fact, this was the first time I have ever done this! You may have a little better luck with achieving a more candy-like consistency. The squash was definitely sweeter with a pretty amber color.
Add equal parts sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Add half of the spaghetti squash and bring to a boil. Next, add 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger. This added a really nice flavor to the tart! I use Penzeys. We tried to achieve a soft ball candy, but when the temp reached 212F and sat there for a bit, we turned off the heat. The spaghetti squash looked like glass noodles:
Add the non-candied spaghetti squash to the bottom of the pie crust followed by the custard mixture.
Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in medium bowl. Heat milk (I used a combination of evaporated and soy milk since that is what I had on hand. It tasted great!) and beat with egg mixture.
Once the custard mixture has been added, fork the candied squash randomly on top. Allow some of the sugary syrup to drop in. The sugar will caramelize along the edges of the crust while baking, adding extra sweetness! Bake until knife inserted in the middle of the tart comes out clean.
I decided to make some candied squash pinwheels with the left over dough. I added some Chipotle Taza chocolate I had left from the Taza factory tour a few weeks ago. The combination was delicious! A nice sugary coating cooked on the bottom of the pinwheels and they were a nice treat to eat while waiting for the tart to cook! My apartment was smelling pretty heavenly!