Or cream pudding, if you want to nitpick. But I don’t.
This recipe is really quite a bit like the one from 1845’s The New England Economical Housekeeper and Family Receipt Book by Esther Allen Howland:
117. Squash Pudding.
Run your stewed squash through a sieve; take four eggs, 1 pint of milk; sweeten it thoroughly; add a little rose-water and cinnamon. Make a good paste, and pour the above ingredients into a deep pudding dish.
Implicit in the above is that you’d cook these ingredients on the stovetop until they reached the right consistency (“make a good paste”). So is it a pudding, or a custard?
Well, it depends on how you look at it. Historically speaking, we haven’t been especially careful about using one term or the other, but in modern cooking, a custard is thickened with eggs, and a pudding is thickened with starch. But hybrids exist; in the post for Yesterdish’s eclairs, we talked about pastry cream, which is a custard base thickened with starch. Typically, those hybrids are called cream puddings.
Here’s the rub: while summer squashes like zucchini are low in starch, winter squashes, like butternut, acorn, and pumpkin, are mostly starch–about 75 percent carbohydrates, most of it starch. So a squash custard is inherently a cream pudding, because it’s a custard base to which starch is added.
This also means that you likely have a great deal of experience with squash cream puddings, because that describes the filling of a pumpkin pie. (While many recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, you absolutely don’t need it–just increase the eggs to compensate.)
From a box sold in Winsted, Connecticut.
4 cups squash
2 cups sugar
4 cups sweet milk, hot
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon, or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. ginger