Last night I stood in my kitchen mashing freshly roasted squash with a little cream and a few other assorted ingredients when my husband comes in. He was shocked to learn what he thought was going to be a delicious side dish was instead going to be a popsicle... that tasted like pie! This dessert is the perfect make ahead, zero fuss dish for your holiday parties that's packed with pumpkin pie goodness!There are several great reasons to love this recipe. For starters the maple syrup is the only sugar added and it's relatively low on cream — plus it's mainly made of vegetable! It also doesn't end up dripping down your popsicle stick (which then runs down your arm and if you're a kid ends up on the sofa... the dog... and so forth) and is great to snack on while chatting with company. Lastly, these things smell amazing. Like seriously amazing, pumpkin pie and then some, plus, they taste as good as they smell!
If you're not big into pumpkin pie spice you can check out this recipe for making your own, which works well for all you "dash of this and dash of that type people."As you'll see above, I don't own a popsicle mold, but I did have a small metal pan available and some chopsticks (totally something MacGyver would use right?) and it worked out just fine, so don't be scared to get creative if you don't have molds either — you could even pour it straight in a loaf pan and eat it with a spoon if you wanted! It doesn't have to be the prettiest popsicle at the party, just the tastiest! Give it a try this weekend and watch the crowds go wild!
Maple & Squash Pumpkin Pie Popsicles
Makes 6 molded popsicles * (see Note below)
1 medium butternut squash, about 2 pounds
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup cream
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
To start, peel, cube and roast your squash. We're not going to say exactly how much squash because every squash is different. Pick one that's medium in size and hasn't grown out long like something odd and phallic (you know what I'm talkin' about). Use just enough oil to coat the squash in the roasting process and allow to cool slightly.
Add squash to a medium size bowl and mash with a potato masher. This is great for the kids to do as you really want to grind down the fibers of the squash. (If you want to cheat you can toss it in the food processor and pulse for 10 seconds and then transfer back to the bowl). Add remaining ingredients and continue mash/mixing until thoroughly combined. It's ok if it's still a little chunky.
Place mixture in popsicle molds and freeze at least 5 hours. I used plastic wrap thinking it would help my mixture release from the mold and it turned out to be totally unneeded! When firm, run molds under hot water (if needed) and slide out your new tasty desserts and enjoy!
* Note: The amount of popsicles this recipe will make depends on the size of your mold. This made 3 fat and chubby servings that easily would have made 6 in a "real" mold.
(Images: Sarah Rae Trover)