Sang Khya L’peouv (pumpkin custard)

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This unusual pumpkin recipe from Cambodia would be perfect for a make-ahead dinner party dessert centerpiece. This recipe is fairly large, but you could always scale down the ingredients and size of the pumpkin to end up with fewer slices.

First published in 2015

This recipe requires a large steamer to fit the whole pumpkin. You could use a large and deep pot filled with a couple of inches of water, with the pumpkin resting on one or two stacked ramekins to keep it from being in contact with the base of the pan or the water level. Keep the lid on, and continue to top up the water level throughout the steaming process to ensure it doesn’t dry out.

If you don’t have a big enough pot for one larger pumpkin, you could instead use a few smaller pumpkins, fill them with the same custard mix, and steam them one at a time. Remember they’ll cook a lot quicker.

This recipe has been taken from ‘Royal Khmer Cuisine’, a book created and written by the culinary team at Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor Siem Reap Cambodia. This book is not available for sale, but is provided to attendees of the cooking class.

All images © Leyla Kazim 2015





Prepare the pumpkin by cutting a big enough hole out of the top of the pumpkin, so that you can scoop out the central stringy mass that holds the seeds. Carefully remove all of this with a spoon, leaving a hollow in the middle but still with the flesh in tact
To make the custard, add the egg yolks, sugar, coconut milk and salt to a large bowl. Whisk together until fully combined. Pass the custard mixture through a fine sieve, then pour it into the pumpkin so that it fills the hollow
Set up a steamer large enough to accommodate the pumpkin and steam on a low heat, so the water is just boiling, until the pumpkin flesh is cooked. This should take about 3 hours, but do keep checking it. You’ll be able to tell if it’s done by inserting a skewer through the skin into the flesh; if it goes all the way through with ease, it’s cooked
Remove the pumpkin from the steamer and allow to cool. Keep in the fridge overnight to fully chill
When you’re ready to serve, just slice it into portions and carefully slice off the pumpkin skin. You’ll be left with a wedge of set coconut custard nestled inside a layer of sweet pumpkin flesh. Wonderful!
First published in 2015

A London-based food and travel photographer and writer, Leyla spent the best part of 2015 eating her way around the world.

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