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

Ideas and Innovation
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

Ideas and Innovation
rolling silverware

Ensuring that employees regularly complete the busywork missing from their daily checklist can be a challenge, but these tasks often help an operation run efficiently with fewer unexpected costs. At Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Regional Executive Chef Dustin Cochran has found a solution to ensure his walk-in coolers always have a clean vent. Cochran starts with a thorough cleaning of the vent, then slips a hairnet over it to catch the dust. Instead of getting employees to deep clean the vents, they need only replace the hairnet.

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

Ideas and Innovation
oxford school district cafeteria

We have spent considerable money making cafeterias cool again. New paint jobs, crazy color patterns, custom graphics and changes in lighting schemes have made some of our cafes popular gathering places. We’ve also experimented with videos, cable TV programs and music. We involved a number of student groups and student input in improving the atmosphere, especially in our high school and middle school cafeterias.

FSD Resources