When I first saw this recipe I realized how much of a no-brainer it was–adding winter squash to this quintessential American corn pudding dessert. Not only are you increasing exponentially the nutrient profile, the flavor boost is enormous. It’s good, and perfect for cold weather eating. Purées of carrot and parsnip would also be good here, perhaps chiogga beet purée as well. Red beets might be a little too overwhelming, both in taste and color. You could also try more savory roots, such as celeriac and turnips, cut back on the sugar some, and turn this into a side dish rather than a dessert dish.
butter or oil, for greasing baking dish
4 c milk, or milk substitute
1/2 c yellow cornmeal
1/3 c molasses
1/3 c honey, maple syrup, agave, or (brown) sugar; or to taste
2 c winter squash purée
1 t salt
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t cinnamon
1 – 2 T butter or coconut oil
1/2 c dried fruit, chopped if necessary
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter or oil an 8″ x 8″ baking dish or similarly sized baking vessel.
2. Rinse a large saucepan out with cold water. Don’t dry. (Optional step) Pour the milk into the saucepan and place over medium heat. (For some reason, rinsing a pot with cold water before heating milk in it prevents the milk from sticking to the pot.) When the milk comes to a simmer, start whisking the milk and then pour, in a slow, steady stream, the corn meal. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring fairly constantly, until the mixture is creamy.
3. Stir in the molasses and honey, and simmer, stirring, another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the winter squash purée until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.
4. Scrape into the prepared baking vessel. Bake for an hour to an hour and a half. Start testing at the hour mark–a knife inserted should come out clean and the top should be browning. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 – 30 minutes before serving. This can be eaten warm, at room temperature, even cold–all tasty.