It took me a shamefully long time to use the bottoms of the butternut squash from the squash lasagna, but it was well worth the wait. This frozen yogurt is wonderfully creamy and smooth. The spices add just the right bit of oomph, but definitely stay in the background. The stars here are the squash itself and the tangy yogurt.
I’ll definitely be making this again for thanksgiving dinner. In fact, it might be the perfect thanksgiving dessert. It’s unmistakably a fall food, but at the same time, it’s light and a bit tart. You’ll be able to eat a scoop or two after dinner without feeling, well, like you just ate a giant dinner followed by a plateful of rich, heavy desserts. (Or even better, serve this right after dinner as a light sweet, then save all the rich, heavy desserts for a few hours later when everyone has a bit more room.)
Like most homemade ice creams, this will benefit from an hour or two in the freezer to firm up after you make it. It is best if eaten the same day; it will get a bit too firm if you freeze it over night. (Adding some alcohol, maybe spiced rum, might help that.)
If you don’t just happen to have the bottom halves of a few butternut squash sitting around (but really, doesn’t everyone?) you could easily use small pumpkins, acorn squash, carnival squash, etc.
2 butternut squash (bowl only)
2 tsp butter or olive oil
4 whole(ish) star anise
2 2″ stick cinnamon
6 allspice berries
1 cup squash puree
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt (preferably Greek-style)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Break up the spices into pieces. Mix the butter or oil and spices. Clean out the seeds from the bowl of the squash. Divide the spices evenly between the two squash and cover with a lid or sheet pan. Bake for about 2 hours, until very soft.
Allow the squash to cool completely with the spices inside. Discard the spices. Scoop the flesh out of the squash and puree until very smooth. (If any juices accumulate in the bowl of the squash, puree them along with the flesh.)
Measure 1 cup of the squash puree. (You should have between 2 and 2.5 cups total; save the rest for another use.) Put the squash puree, yogurt, salt, vanilla and brown sugar in a blender and blend until combined. Thoroughly chill.
Freeze according to the directions for your ice cream maker.
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