Family Recipes,Holiday Recipes,Side Dishes

Baked Acorn Squash by Anjuli

Posted on 09-30-08 · Tags: , ,

Baked Acorn Squash

These went fast, like within minutes. I’m picky about my squashes, but acorn squash has a soft, yammy texture and is not too sweet. Add in some fall spices, and it’s a savory dessert (before you have dessert, of course). The combination of sugars also caused some giggling and repeated reciting of Steve Brule. Yes, it has come to natural sugar highs. Maybe I’ve graduated from HFCS?

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Serves 2
1 acorn squash
1 tablespoon butter or ghee
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup Nutmeg, freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon a few cloves
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400, and make sure your rack is in the middle. Using a strong knife, cut the squash lengthwise, and remove the stem. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Score each half several times with a knife. Rub the butter around the insides, drizzle the maple syrup, sprinkle the brown sugar, and top with the nutmeg, cinnamon, and a dash of salt and pepper. Add the cloves into the belly of each half. Place the squash in a baking pan, and add a 1/2 inch cover of water to the bottom so the sides don’t burn. Place in the oven for 60 to 75 minutes, until the center is soft and the top slightly toasted. Plate and serve immediately.

Green vs. orange acorn squash: Ana’s question in the comments below prompted me to add in this note. The most common acorn squash you will find is green, sometimes with spots of orange on it. This is a cousin of the orange acorn squash.

Much of nature’s produce is green when mature (from chlorophyll), and then as it ripens will change to the warmer hues of red, orange, or yellow. The most common example of this ripening is with the bell pepper. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are just riper green ones. That’s why you find them later in the season at a local Greenmarket. After maturing, the pepper ripens on the plant, which continue to inject it with sugar to make it more appetizing, and so the result is sweeter. At the same time the shell or skin will become softer and more supple. In a grocery store we tend to find the greener versions, because they travel better and have a longer shelf life.

Ana, your squash is actually a cousin of mine, and is harvested when green, while mine ranges from golden to white, and is slightly sweeter, but I’ve only found at Greenmarkets.

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  1. Sara wrote:

    Hello! Thank you for this great idea. I do have a question though: what do you mean by, “… and add 1/2 cover of water to the bottom…”? Do you add 1/2 *inch* (I’m guessing here) of water to the actual tray you are cooking the squash in, so the squash is directly in the water? Thank you so much for the clarification, I’m an amateur here. =)

    October 1st, 2008 at 10:32 am
  2. Anjuli wrote:

    Hey Sara, nice catch! Exactly, the water is used to coat 1/2 inch of the bottom of the pan, and you sit the squash cut side up in the center of them. I used two 9″ loaf pans for these.

    Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!

    October 1st, 2008 at 12:10 pm
  3. Nate wrote:

    okay, if there’s one good thing about Fall, it’s the squashes. I like the addition of cloves in this dish.

    Have you tried baking it with orange slices?

    October 1st, 2008 at 4:40 pm
  4. Lydia H. wrote:

    MMMmmm…I made this to go with our Christmas dinner last year. I liked it so much I made it over and over. We have acorn squash constantly!

    October 1st, 2008 at 5:22 pm
  5. Anjuli wrote:

    Nate: I have not, but that sounds interesting. Any specifics on the preparation? Do you still use cinnamon, etc?

    October 1st, 2008 at 11:25 pm
  6. Anjuli wrote:

    Lydia: Nice. Yea, I’m trying different kinds, but so far I still like acorn squash the most.

    October 1st, 2008 at 11:28 pm
  7. Ana wrote:

    The combination of spices that you suggested really helped make the squash much more flavorful. In your picture though, the squash has an orange colored skin. I could only find green ones, and some with a hint of orange. Are the green ones not ripe? and how can I get them to ripen if they are not? (in the past if I let them sit, they get all shriveled up)

    October 13th, 2008 at 2:06 pm
  8. Anjuli wrote:

    Anna, thanks for the question! It inspired me to update the post with the above note.

    October 14th, 2008 at 3:13 pm

What do you think?