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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Apple-Maple Acorn Squash Puree & Alltop

acornsquash

You know that we're firmly entrenched in Autumn when almost every other recipe you see on the blogs contains some form of pumpkin, butternut or acorn squash. It's inevitable. A myriad of orange-hued dishes abound, both sweet and savory. Pies, breads, cakes, soups, and even the simplest compositions of roasted root vegetables dot the web like little marshmallows on a sweet potato casserole. I'm not complaining, mind you. I like it. In fact, I like it so much that I'm jumping on the winter squash bandwagon, myself.

Those of you who are winter squash aficionados might be shocked to learn that there are some people who don't actually like orange-fleshed food. I know, it's shocking! Both Mr. SGCC and Mini SGCC fall into that category. I'm sure that you all feel my pain at this revelation! While they each might indulge in a bite or two of a cleverly disguised pumpkin pie or a spoonful of my mother's world famous candied sweet potatoes (only on Thanksgiving), they draw the line there. I, on the other had, adore the color orange, especially on a plate! So, when I feel the need for a gourd fix, I'm pretty much on my own. I'll usually look for a small specimen at the market, wait until I'm on my own for an evening and knock myself out!

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One of my favorites is acorn squash. I think that's because it was the one that I had most often growing up. My mom used to make it a lot. She prepared it very simply, baked in the oven with a little butter and some cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg sprinkled on top. I can still remember how good it was - that soft, yielding, slightly sweet and spicy flesh. Acorn squash is not quite as dense and sweet as it's other Cucurbitaceae cousins, and it's flesh is lighter and more golden, but it is every bit as healthy and delicious.

Acorn squash is a tasty source of complex carbohydrates and soluble fiber, which, is said to play an important role in reducing the incidence of colon cancer. It is also an excellent source of beta carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, vision, bone development and maintenance as well as many other functions.

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The other day Mr. and Mini SGCC were out, so I decided to make myself some acorn squash. I basically made it the same way my mother did, but I tried a new twist on it that I really, really liked. I cut it in two and spread a bit of softened butter on the inside of each half. Then I sprinkled on some cinnamon and dark brown sugar and drizzled on a little pure maple syrup (NOT Log Cabin). Here's where the twist comes in. Normally, I would bake the squash on a baking sheet in a little water bath. Instead, I poured some apple cider in the baking sheet. By the time the squash was cooked through, the cider had reduced and caramelized into a thick, gooey syrup that was both sweet and tart at the same time. I scooped the flesh of the squash into a bowl and scraped up all of that glorious apple ooze and added it too. The combination of apple, brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon turned that squash into something sublime! If you're a fan of acorn, or any winter squash, you must try it this way. It was really and truly divine - and incredibly easy to prepare!

Apple-Maple Acorn Squash Puree

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

1 medium acorn squash

1-2 tablespoons softened butter

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 cups apple cider

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with foil.

Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds and stringy bits.

Place on baking sheet flesh side up. Spread butter on squash, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle maple syrup on top.

Bake for 1 hour, or until squash is soft and apple juice has caramelized. Scoop flesh from the skin and into a bowl. Scrape as much of the apple goop as you can up from the baking sheet and add to the bowl. Mix and mash it all together and serve.

Enjoy!

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I also have a fun bit of news to share with you. SGCC has recently been included on Alltop. Alltop is a news aggregation site that provides “all the top” stories for the most popular topics on the Web, including food. According to their web site, "You can think of an Alltop site as a “digital magazine rack” of the Internet. To be clear, Alltop sites are starting points—they are not destinations per se. The bottom line is that we are trying to enhance your online reading by both displaying stories from the sites that you’re already visiting and helping you discover sites that you didn’t know existed. In other words, our goal is the “cessation of Internet stagnation” by providing “aggregation without aggravation.”

I am flattered and proud to be included with so many wonderful and successful web sites and blogs. If you've never visited Alltop before, why not take a few minutes and check it out. You just may discover some great new finds!

34 comments:

Patsyk said...

Congrats on being added to Alltop! That's very cool!

I will have to try acorn squash to see if my boys will enjoy it. Yours looks so delicious!

RecipeGirl said...

I've only had acorn squash once and I quite liked it... so I don't know why I haven't made it more. I always seem to pick up butternut instead. Yes, I'm obsessed with pumpkin and butternut this fall season!

Welcome to Alltop :)

Karina Allrich said...

Yes- acorn squash, maple, apple- all my favorite flavors! Lovely.

Manggy said...

Hee! I'm such a dork... I thought Alltop was a brand of apple cider... I was thinking of Treetop. Duhrr! Anyway, my family on the other hand ADORES squash! I think Mr. and mini SGCC are crazy not to like this apple (yum!)-maple (yum!)-acorn squash (yum!) puree you made!

squawmama said...

Wow this sounds so yummy... I love acorn squash and apple cider vinegar. I will be trying this very soon... Thanks for the recipe....

(((HUGS)))
Donna

squawmama said...

Oh and Congrats on the Alltop Award... That is something to be proud of...

(((HUGS)))
Donna

Snooky doodle said...

this recipe looks interesting. I m not a big fan of pumpkin myself but i like to experiment :)
Congrtulations for Alltop :)

Jennifer Hamilton said...

Such a wonderful combination!!

noble pig said...

I have two acorn squash staring at me on the counter and a half bottle of apple cider in the fridge. This will be part of Sunday dinner! Thank you.

Kalyn said...

Oh goodness, my condolences at the lack of squash love at your house. I was in that camp when I was young, but now I love all things squash. This looks just amazing!

Deborah said...

I love that you cooked it with the apple cider! What a great idea!

Bellini Valli said...

Congrats on being recognized Susan...this recipe is noteable too:D

Donna said...

I can't wait to try that recipe. I am a winter squash nut. I love butternut squash soup so much that just about anyone who knows me who has seen the V8 commercial about their butternut soup has called me.
Congratulations on your award.

Meg said...

This recipe looks amazing! So tasty!

Congrats on being included in Alltop!

CookiePie said...

Sounds sooooo delicious! And congrats on Alltop :)

karl's sweet child said...

your blog's name really make me hungry!!

joanne @ frutto della passione said...

I really feel your pain, my boys won't even carry squash or pumpkin into the house from the car! I don't get to make nearly as many of these recipes as I would like because of that, but I will try you recipe (modified for !)

Cakelaw said...

I am so into recipes containing pumpkin and squash and sweet potato - I don't mind that we are heading into summer.

Grace said...

count me among the lovers of all vegetables orange. lovely recipe--i'm all about making the sweet even sweeter (and cinnamon-tinged...). :)

Sarah said...

Mmm, I love winter squashes of every kind. It's a shame that you have to share your squash indulgences for a time when Mr. SGCC and Mini SGCC are out of the house!

Congratulations on your Alltop pick, that's fantastic news!

lifeinrecipes said...

I still prepare acorn squash the way my mom did - baked with butter brown sugar and a splash of sherry. Loving winter squash of all shapes and sizes.

Debbie said...

Sounds and looks delicious. I have 2 acorn squash that I need to do something with. This is nice since it is different!!!!

Louise at Livin Local said...

I LOVED acorn squash as a kid ... all nice a soft with that melted brown sugar inside. Yum! At that point, I figured everyone loved this fall delight. Uh, no. My family has no clue why I keep baking it when no one but myself enjoys the stuff. Guess I'm out to make converts out of them. Mwa-ha-ha!

Laurie said...

Congrats on the shout out from Alltop! They have good taste.

My family (except my son) all love acorn squash and I LOVE your apple cider tip. I can't wait to try it!

I snuck some acorn squash into an orange quick bread recipe I was experimenting with for the Joust and my son loved it. That's one way to get a kid to eat orange veggies.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Well deserved with Alltop Susan! Congrats! I just loved what you did with the apple cider. Great idea!

vibi said...

BEE-YOU-TEE-FULL!
Here, I even invented a new spelling for ya!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

My squash experience exactly parallels yours. My mom cooked acorn squash the same way and my family won't touch squash outside of pumpkin pie (although I sneak it into breads and they don't complain too much).

Cynthia said...

Oh Susan, that looks soooooo good!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

That's wonderful, Susan! Way to go! And I know what you mean about the recipes for pumpkin, squash, etc. At least we're all getting plenty of beta-carotene, right?

Zen Chef said...

Me too, me too, i jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon. Hey, it only comes once a year so why not! :-)

Love how you prepared the acorn squash, yum! Very appetizing!

And congrats on the Alltop link, that's wonderful!

Kim said...

I love the fall squashes and this looks so good. I sometimes just bake acorn squash halves in the oven and and eat them plain with salt and pepper.

Parker said...

I am loving squash season so much, so many great recipes. The maple in this sounds divine.

Kevin said...

Pureed acorn squash with maple syrup and apple cider sounds really good!

Vanessa said...

Egad. Everything looks so good!!