Baked Cushaw and Yams

Baked Cushaw and Yams
This mixture can then be combined with Louisiana yams as the perfect filling for pies or turnovers. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Many of the old Creole cooks referred to the meat of the cushaw, a green and white, striped crookneck pumpkin, simmered in sugar and spices, as Juirdmon. This mixture can then be combined with Louisiana yams as the perfect filling for pies or turnovers. One of its premiere uses, however, was as a side dish alongside turkey, pork roast, or ham on the holiday table, replacing the simple candied yam.

Prep Time: 2 hours

Yields: 10 to 12 servings

STIRRIN' IT UP: Baked Cushaw and Yam

Ingredients:

1 (3-pound) cushaw or 32 ounces canned pumpkin

3 large yams, peeled and cubed

2 cups sugar, divided

¾ pound butter

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup Steen’s™ cane syrup

½ cup self-rising flour

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp ground allspice

½ tsp ground nutmeg

⅛ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tbsps pure vanilla extract

3 eggs, beaten

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Select a cushaw with a main section approximately the size of a soccer ball. Using a large French knife, chop cushaw into 3-inch squares. Using a paring knife, scrape or cut away seeds and stringy matter from each square.

Place cushaw squares in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of hot water. Add 1 cup sugar and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Cover and boil cushaw 30–40 minutes or until pulp is extremely tender, but not mushy. Remove from heat, strain and return cooking liquid back into pot. Cool cushaw 15–20 minutes or until easy enough to handle.

While cushaw is cooling, place cubed yams into reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a boil and cook 20–30 minutes or until yams are fork-tender. Add additional water if necessary.

While yams are cooking, scrape meat from cooled cushaw squares into a large mixing bowl and discard shell. When yams are done, remove from heat and drain well.

Place in the mixing bowl with cushaw mixture, stirring to mix well. Add butter, sugars, and cane syrup, then using a pastry cutter, mash until mixture is well blended and smooth.

Add flour, all spices, and vanilla, continuing to mash and blending well into the mixture. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and heavy whipping cream until well combined. Whip egg-milk mixture into cushaw and yam mixture, blending well to incorporate.

Place mixture into an 11″ x 8″ baking dish and bake 30–45 minutes or until slightly browned around the edges. Serve as a sweet vegetable side dish or use as a pie filling.

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