acorn-squash-serve-300x251Fall is the perfect season to dive into exploring the delights of squash. For one thing, squash is in season and this means it is cheap. This is important because squash is fairly heavy. For another thing, squash just makes it feel festive. People decorate their homes with them, that’s how festive they are. We are not here to decorate my friends, we are here to eat. Let’s get started.

Okay, one more aside first. Whether you love it or hate it, “Pumpkin Pie Spice” is frequently used with squash. So frequently, that you might just be sick of it. If you are not a fan of the pumpkin pie spice, you may even think you do not like squash because it is almost always seasoned this way. If you think you do not like squash, please give this recipe a chance because it is not that same old flavor combination.

Ingredients

1 acorn squash

1 orange/ 2 Tablespoons orange juice

Salt

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

ground pepper

cayenne pepper

Directions

First, slice your acorn squash in half vertically and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits.

acorn squash sliced

You are going to take a knife and slash the squash inside.

acorn squash scored

You will cut both vertically and horizontally making a checkerboard pattern. These grooves in the flesh of the squash will allow the seasoning to penetrate and flavor your squash at a deeper level.

Squeeze orange juice into each half of the squash. Then sprinkle salt over both halves.

acorn squash orange

Place the squash in a baking dish and bake at 400° F for 30 minutes.

acorn squash baking dish

While the squash is baking, prepare the glaze. Simmer butter, syrup, brown sugar, black pepper (to taste), and cayenne (to taste) in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Cook for about three minutes or until the sugar has completely dissolved and the glaze is smooth.

Remove the squash from the oven and pour or spoon out any remaining liquid. Generously brush on the glaze over each half of the squash. Return it to the oven for an additional 20 minutes, or until the flesh is tender. Spoon or brush the collected glaze up around the edges before serving.

The squash can be served just as it is or it can be scooped out and served from a dish. I prefer serving the halves because they just add a little bit of ambiance!

acorn squash serve

To see the original video recipe, visit Chef John over at Food Wishes.

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Southern Carolina Family