Baked Acorn squash is something my mom used to make when I was a kid and my children love it too. I serve it as a dessert because the squash is naturally sweet with a nutty taste. By adding some butter, brown sugar with a little honey or syrup it screams dessert.
Acorn squash is a winter squash so the prime season for this squash is fall through winter. When I buy acorn squash I look for ones that are dark green with just a touch of orange color (see photo) and absolutely no soft pots. Also if the squash has a stem that’s brown and withered it means that it’s ripe.
I started out by preheating the oven, then cutting the acorn squash in half. The exterior of the squash is very hard and difficult to cut through, so be sure to use caution when cutting it. Then I grabbed a spoon and scooped all the seeds and stringy pulp out.
With the inside of the squash cleaned up I scored the flesh of the squash several times with a knife (in a grid pattern), then spread butter on the inside of each half. Next I sprinkled it with just a little bit of salt, added a scoop of brown sugar to each center, and then drizzled maple syrup on top. Honey will work too instead of syrup and give the squash a different flavor. I’ve done it both ways and I think both taste good but I like maple syrup better.
I put the acorn squash halves in a baking pan with the inside of the squash facing up. The next step is a very important one. I added about half an inch of water to the pan around the squash halves. The water will keep the squash from burning and the inside from drying up.
Adapted from Elsie Bauer’s recipe via Simply Recipes