“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”

~ Ruth Reichl

Acron squash is a hearty vegetable and when combined with tasty fruits and spices it becomes a real treat and may be enough to change even the mind of even the most skeptical and picky eater.

When I was looking for healthier but still yummy meals when the weather started cooling, I came across a variety of acorn squash recipes and thought I’d try my hand. Acorn squash has an especially distinct taste, which is why pairing it with fruits and spices creates a nice blend.

This recipe makes for a perfect stand-alone or side dish for harvest or wintertime. The best part is that the acorn squash itself is the bowel. So, let’s dive into how this dish was made. You will need a knife, chopping, board, baking sheet, medium saucepan, measuring spoons, measuring cups, and an oven.

Ingredients

  • 3 acorn squashes halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1/2 cup of pear juice or apple juice
  • 4 tbsp of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 4 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 apples (red, green, or yellow) peeled (optional), cored, and diced
  • 1 pear diced
  • 4 tbsp walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp of cold water (cornstarch slurry)
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine

Instructions

Preparation. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a rimmed cookie sheet (alternatively you can use a nonstick cookie sheet or stonewear sheet). Rinse the acorn squash, halve and take out the seeds. Rinse fruits.

Bake. Place squash on cookie sheet cutside down and bake for 30 minutes. Once out, carefully turn over and brush with maragine or butter (optional: if you want to add a buttery taste; apple butter or maple butter, even better!).

  • If you are using nuts, this is a good time to prepare them and then pop them in the oven for about fifteen minutes with the squash.

Filling. Combine juice, cranberry, raisins, sugar, spices, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring it to a simmer for about ten minutes until cranbrerries and raisins look soft. Afterwards, stir in cornstarch slurry and simmer once more until sauce has thickened (a couple of minutes). Stir in butter, molasses, and fruit. Set this aside.

Build. Fill the acorn squash with fruit and spice sauce filling and then bake for another fifteen minutes or until squash is soft all the way through. Take out and top with roasted nuts if you included them.

Allow to cool and then enjoy!

As you can see, above and below, I didn’t use any walnuts or pecans because I do not eat anything with nuts. If I were to use them, I would have down a maple or brown sugar glaze and roasted them. I also had extra filling, which can be eaten alone. My sister particularly liked the filling so she ate that up.

I’m not entirely sure what to title this dish with all the fruits and spices that went into it. I’m thinking Spiced Acorn Squash. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Try the recipe out and let me know what you think!

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