Sweet squash squares with corn crust, sugared squash seeds, and optional red bean paste
Recipe by Josh Volk, Slow Hand Farm
Tetsukabuto Squash Preparation (or substitute any saucy squash)
Cut the squash in half
Scoop out the seeds and scrape out any loose stringy bits with a metal spoon.
Bake the squash face down in a roasting pan at 350 until they are very soft and squash liquor is starting to collect in the pan and to brown.
Let the squash cool and then scoop out the flesh.
Squash Seed Preparation
Pepo (pumpkin type) squash seeds which have thin hulls, or no hulls work best for this, but you can also use maxima or moschata types which have a thicker hull and they’ll be chewier. Tetsukabuto seeds are not a great candidate as they have thick hulls and a high percentage of hollow seeds.
Wash the seeds after removing them from the squash and then dry and toast them in the oven until lightly golden. I usually do this at 350 with the squash that’s cooking.
1/2 cup seeds
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Put all three ingredients into a heavy frying pan on medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring 5-10 minutes until it starts to thicken.
Reduce heat to medium low and stir 1 minute or so until white and frothy.
Slide the pan to the edge of the burner so just a corner is in contact and scrape the edges in, stirring as it cools.
When it has fully crystalized return the pan to high heat and let 1/5 of the crystals melt and crystalize.
Pour the mixture onto the parchment paper and let it cool completely.
Store in an airtight container until just before serving.
¾ cup corn meal
¾ cup white wheat flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
6 T olive oil
¼ cup water
preheat oven to 350
mix all ingredients together and then press thinly and evenly into the bottom of an 8 x 12 metal roasting pan.
Freeze the pan for 5 minutes
Bake the crust for 10 minutes until lightly brown
Assemble the squares by spreading an layer of the squash over the crust with a spoon. Cut the pan into 1 1/2 “ squares. Just before eating top each square with the candied squash seeds.
Bean paste for bean variation
¾ cup dry red beans
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
Cover the beans with 1-2” of water and let them soak overnight. (Azuki beans are typical for this preparation and can be cooked without soaking)
Cook the beans in their soaking water by bringing to a boil and then reducing to a simmer and cooking covered until very soft, usually 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the bean variety and how fresh it is.
Add the sugar and simmer for 10 more minutes.
Separate the beans from the liquid and puree or mash, adding just enough of the reserved liquid to make a spreadable paste.
To make the variation with bean paste spread a thin layer of bean paste on the crust, then a thicker layer of squash above. Then cut into squares.