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Custard-filled Acorn Squash

2 medium to medium-small acorn squash
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 1/2 cup lowfat milk
4 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350F.

Wash the squash, remove the stem, cut in half from top to bottom,
remove seeds and as much of the seed-cavity loose fibers as possible
(a little remaining loose fiber won't hurt), and rinse the seed
cavities with cold tapwater. Drain thoroughly, then slice a small
piece off of the underside so that the squash half's open rim will
sit level on a flat surface -- Do not puncture the bowl which must
hold the liquid that bakes into the custard. Set aside.

Whisk the egg and egg yolks until smooth but not frothy. Add the
milk and other ingredients and thoroughly mix. Add just enough salt
so that a little taste lets you taste the salt's presence -- not
a lot.

Carefully fill the squash halves with the custard liquid to the
rim. Place in a shallow baking dish, positioned so that the squash
halves do not touch each other. Pour a cup or so of boiling water
into the baking dish, being careful not to get in into the custard.

Any excess custard can be baked in a custard cup at the same time
you are baking the squash/custard rather than wasted; the custard
in the cup will cook faster than the custard in the squash shells

Put in the oven and bake until the custard is set. It should take
between 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes, but it could take
longer in some situations, depending on size of squash, volume of
custard in the squash bowls, etc. Test doneness of the squash by
inserting a sharp knife vertically down through the custard and
pulling it back out; if it comes out clean the custard is done,
and so should the squash be.

Serves Four. Let set for about 10 minutes before serving. The
custard will be smooth and soft, a finer texture even than Spanish
flan and far more delicate than traditional American custard. It
is mildly sweet, but not overpoweringly so. This can be the main
course of an elegant meal with simple steamed veggies and perhaps
plain steamed brown basmati rice to accompany it.


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