Seasonal Platings: Kabocha Squash Flan

Menu Part: 
Dessert
Cuisine Type: 
Latin
Serves: 
6 servings

Chef Greg Atkinson of Marché on Bainbridge Island in Winslow, Wash., goes beyond the traditional flan, infusing the dessert with seasonal offerings. His fall flan marries heavy cream and eggs with Kobocha squash, known as the Japanese pumpkin, topped off with pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil.

Ingredients

2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lb. kabocha, squash, about 1/2 of a medium specimen
1/2 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
1 tsp. kosher salt
6 tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
6 tsp. pumpkin seed oil

Steps

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. and butter six 4-ounce ramekins or glass custard cups. Place cups in a baking dish that will comfortably hold all of them and reserve.

2. Cut squash into disks or wedges and scrape out seeds, then cut away the peel. Cut the squash into 1-inch dice. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of cubed squash.

3. In a large skillet or saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium-high heat and cook the onion 5 minutes, or until tender and golden brown, stirring often. Add cream and squash, bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Let the squash simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until tender.

4. In a blender or food processor, pulse eggs with salt, then add squash mixture. Cover the top of the machine with a kitchen towel and process using short pulses at first so that the hot mixture does not overflow when the machine is turned on. Pulse until smooth, then evenly distribute the squash mixture between the ramekins.

5. Pour boiling water into the baking dish around ramekins until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins, cover baking dish with buttered baker's parchment and aluminum foil. Bake until the custard is set and no longer jiggles when the ramekins are tapped, about 25 minutes. Remove custards from oven and allow them to stand 10 minutes.

6. You can choose to serve the flans at once, or keep them warm in a 200° F. oven for up to 1 hour, or refrigerate them and then reheat as needed. To serve, loosen edges of custards with a spatula or knife, slipping the point of the spatula down the sides of the ramekins to let in enough air to release the custards. Invert custards onto plates and serve hot garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil. 

Recipe by Chef Greg Atkinson, Marché on Bainbridge Island, Winslow, Wash.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Menu Development
sweet pea ravioli

On any given night at the Wake Robin senior living facility in Shelburne, Vt., residents may find spring sweet pea and mascarpone ravioli with white wine cream sauce or acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and cranberries on the menu. These dishes, along with a new sweet-potato burger topped with cilantro aioli, aren’t just delicious, says Director of Dining Services Kathy King. They’re also completely vegetarian.

The popularity of Meatless Mondays and the growing number of people who call themselves “flexitarians” have impacted menu development in every noncommercial sector. Although...

Managing Your Business
umass amherst food

Restaurateurs in Amherst, Mass., aren’t happy with UMass Dining .

Registered dietitian Dianne Sutherland told local NBC affiliate WWLP News in May that the high quality of food served on campus means students aren’t visiting neighborhood eateries as frequently as those businesses might like.

“Even our vendors who we work with, they get complaints from the restaurants that students are staying on campus,” she said. “They are already paying for the food; why should they [go] off campus to eat?” More than 19,000 Amherst students are on a meal plan—6,000 of whom live off campus...

Ideas and Innovation
lettuce eat dining

Forced to battle crumbling infrastructure and a constant churn of trends, sometimes the best way to save a foodservice operation is to change it entirely. As Steve Mangan, director of dining at the University of Michigan, puts it, “At some point when your building starts to fail, the cost of maintenance stands out.” But for operators with limited budgets, the challenge is discerning the right time to do so—and how far to take it.

At Jefferson High School, change came because little worked anymore. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, school’s cafeteria hadn’t been updated since 1957; students...

FSD Resources