This is the most basic version of a dish that is found all over the Southeast in meat 'n threes. It varies widely, but always contains squash, onions, and crackers; sometimes you'll find cheese, mayo, breadcrumbs, pimentos, or bell peppers mixed in, too. My grandmother wrote this recipe and it has been served at our restaurant for decades. —HMMessinger
unsalted butter, melted and divided
1 1/2 cups
whole milk, at room temperature
large eggs, at room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons
In This Recipe
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 tablespoon kosher salt per quart. Chop squash into 1-inch pieces and boil until tender, but not mushy, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a pan and sautée onions until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Drain squash well and rinse under cold water. Set on a dish towel to dry. Preheat oven to 450° F and butter a 9- by 11-inch baking dish.
Whisk together milk, eggs, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar if you are using poor quality (or out of season) squash.
Layer squash and buttered onions in a baking dish and pour milk mixture over it. Top with cracker crumbs (I am partial to cheese crackers, but Ritz crackers are the traditional choice), and drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons butter over top.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until custard is set. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving.