Sunday, January 10, 2010

Baked Acorn Squash

OldRoses did a great job of posting holiday recipes in a timely fashion. 'A' has gotten behind over the holidays and is trying to get caught up...

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, I purchased an acorn squash at a farmer’s market. Before preparing it, I consulted my trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. One suggestion was to bake it with brown sugar and applesauce. I tried this, and it turned out to be so wonderfully good that I decided to make this for the Nutty Thanksgiving. Hey, an acorn is a nut, right? Close enough.

I agree with OldRoses's previous comment that squash (winter squash, specifically - summer squash is pretty soft) is difficult to cut and peel. Butchering a butternut squash usually gives me sore fingers and maybe a blister. But - that's only true for RAW squash. COOKED squash is much easier to deal with. The beauty of this recipe is that your interaction with the raw squash is minimal. All you have to do is cut the thing in half and scoop out the seeds. Removing the cooked squash from its shell is relatively easy on the hands.

Although we’re dealing with squash, this dish is sweet, not savory, even though I didn’t add very much brown sugar, maybe a tablespoon per half. The flavor has a fruity quality to it. (Hey, squash actually is a fruit, technically...) You could almost serve this dish as a dessert. And it’s so easy! It's ideal to make at the same time as a casserole or meatloaf, when the oven is turned on anyway.

Verdict: Yum! This one's a keeper!

Baked Acorn Squash
(source: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book)

1 acorn squash

1 cup applesauce


Brown sugar

Halve the squash and remove seeds. Bake cut side down in a shallow pan at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes. Turn cut side up. Brush each half with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. Fill with ½ cup applesauce. Bake about 20 minutes longer.

Recycle: applesauce jar

Compost: squash shell

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