Coconut Custard in a Pumpkin Shell

  • Active Time 10m
  • Total Time 12h 55m

Serves 8

Sweet custard is a popular afternoon tea snack in Asia. In Thailand, it is made with coconut milk and steamed in a small pumpkin or Japanese kabocha squash. Before serving, the dessert is cut into wedges and the creamy squash and custard are eaten together.


  • 1 small (about 3 pound-) pumpkin or kabocha squash, or 2 acorn squashes, about 1 1/2-pound each
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • Boiling water, as needed


Cut off a slice 1-inch thick from the stem-end of the pumpkin, the kabocha squash or the 2 acorn squashes. Set aside to use as the lid(s).

Scrape out the seeds and the pulp and reserve for another use. Rinse the hollowed-out squash(es) and pat dry.

Place a deep bamboo steaming basket or a steaming rack in a large wok. Add enough water to come just below the base of the basket or rack. If using the basket, remove it and set aside. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

In a bowl, stir together the eggs, sugar and salt until blended. Add the coconut milk and stir until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the hollowed-out pumpkin or kabocha squash, or divide between the 2 acorn squashes. Cover with the lid(s).

If using the steaming basket, place the squash(es) in the basket and set in the wok. If using a steaming rack, place the squash(es) in a heatproof ceramic dish, such as a soufflé dish, and set on the rack. Cover the basket or wok and steam until the custard is set and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45-60 minutes. Check the water level periodically and add boiling water as needed to maintain the original level.

Remove the basket or dish from the wok. Let the squash(es) cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

TO SERVE: Remove the lid(s) and cut the large squash into 8 wedges or each acorn squash into 4 wedges. Divide among individual serving plates.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 651

nutrition information per serving

170 calories; 4g total fat; 159mg cholesterol; 147mg sodium; 29g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 6g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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