Acorn Squash

The weather has finally decided to cool down around here and the first acorn squash have appeared at our local Amish farms and farmers market. Acorn squash are wonderfully easy to prepare – just cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, add a little brown sugar and/or maple syrup, and bake for a little over an hour.Choose squash that are heavy for their size and have a hard, deep-colored rind free of blemishes or moldy spots. The hard skin of a winter squash protects the flesh and allows it to be stored longer than summer squash. It does not require refrigeration and can be kept in a cool, dark place for a month or more, depending on the variety. Once the seeds are removed, winter squash can be baked, steamed or simmered. They’re a good source of iron, riboflavin and vitamins A and C. Tim’s doctor really seems glad that I have gotten Tim to eat these wonderful squash.

Classic Baked Acorn Squash:

1 Acorn squash
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
Dash of Salt

Dash of cinnamon ( optional)

1 slice thick sliced maple bacon cut in half

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Using a strong knife, and perhaps a rubber mallet to help, cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Add about a 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don’t burn and the squash doesn’t get dried out.

Coat the inside of each half with 1/2 a Tbsp of butter. Add a dash of salt if you are using unsalted butter. Add a Tbsp of brown sugar to the cavity of each half. Dribble on a teaspoon of maple syrup to each half. Add cinnamon if using and bacon also.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the squash is very soft and the tops are browned. Do not undercook. When finished, remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sugar sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas. I sometimes add maple bacon to mine while it bakes.