FARM FRIDAY RECIPE: Baked Harvest Squash with Apples and Cranberries
Thanksgiving is definitely a favourite holiday in our family and it is my daughter Olivia’s number one! Our menu is fairly traditional – turkey, celery and apple stuffing, baked squash, mashed potatoes, pecan brussels sprouts and I like to add roasted maple parsnips and carrots. I’m going to experiment with a squash dish inspired by a recent trip to Vermont.
I did make a short escape to Vermont this fall to surprise my Mom for her birthday. My friend Judy and I hopped on a plane and rental car and off we went along the back roads. We made it to the house just before they were to leave for dinner, surprise! Then off in the dark to what seemed like the middle of nowhere: Walpole, New Hampshire a town of about 4,000 tucked along the Connecticut River to the most wonderful restaurant L.A. Burdick- homemade chocolate, fantastic food and a great looking bar! Since being licensed, my interest in all things bar, cocktail and small batch concoctions more than tweak my interest…
As anyone who knows me knows, Vermont is the place of inspiration at all times. But being in Vermont in the fall means one thing apples. Apples are everywhere and in every recipe and in every preserve. What I most appreciate about Vermont apples it that the varieties are endless and ones not often seen here. I think it is because there has been a resurrection of the old fashion varieties among Vermont farmers and people appreciate their quality and taste. That’s not to say that the McIntosh, Cortlands, Empire are not the leading varieties as they are here. It is one of my dreams to plant a few of these older apples here on the farm: Golden Russets, and the Pippin varieties.
Borrowing from Amy’s Fun Fact of the Day: here is my Apple Fact of the day to share with you: Vermont a state of 9,620 square miles uses approximately 16,000 acres of land for commercial apple production and Ontario with 415,598 square miles uses 15,500 acres!
I use apples in a lot of recipes in the fall. Add a sliced apple or two to any roast pork dish, add apples to thanksgiving stuffing, grate an apple into your morning porridge, add chopped apples to a salad especially a bitter greens like kale.
Here is a great one dish meal that I’m making this holiday weekend:
BAKED HARVEST SQUASH WITH APPLES & CRANBERRIES
1 butternut or acorn squash
2-3 firm apples
1 sliced shallot or yellow onion
1/2 cup fresh or dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts – optional
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup
One acorn or butternut squash cut in half, seeds removed. Place the squash skin down on a baking sheet in a preheated 400 degree oven. Bake the squash 45 – 60 minutes or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile: core 2 -3 firm apples such as Macs or Cortlands and slice into pieces. In a skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter and add the apples, sauté briefly. Add: 1 sliced and chopped shallots or yellow onion
Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add fresh or dried cranberries, walnuts, cinnamon, cider and maple syrup. Cook on low heat until mixture thickens slightly about 5 minutes.
Spoon out the cooked squash and break into chunks or even mash slightly. Add the apple mixture to the squash and combine and add back into the squash shells. You can make this ahead of time and leave in the refrigerator until 10 minutes before you are ready to eat.
Just before serving: preheat the oven to 400 put the squash into an oven proof dish and dot with butter. Bake for 10 minutes or until heated through.
This squash is delicious served with Turkey and pairs well with the South Pond Apple Chutney (available here). Or is great on its own as a fall meal along side of a kale salad (recipe here), a warm crusty loaf of bread and a side of cheddar cheese. Add meat: grilled sausages and mustard!
Farm Friday Recipes was born as a result of Danielle’s friends wanting to try out some of her favourite recipes, specifically over the weekend. Weekdays can be rushed and meals eaten in a hurry (even here at the farm!) so why not carve some time put this weekend to enjoy a Farm Friday Recipe with your family.