Thursday, November 12, 2009

Squash Stuffed Baked Apples

I got the idea for this recipe from an old 1988 calendar I found at my mother’s house a while back when I was helping her unpack.  November’s recipe was for squashed stuffed apples was courtesy of the Washington State Apple Commission.  I thought it was a great idea for Thanksgiving dinner.  However, I think a whole apple is a bit too much considering all of the side dishes that make up the Thanksgiving meal.   So, I adapted their recipe to make more reasonable portions and to shorten up the process.
You want to start with some apples,  I used Granny Smith’s.  First, you need to core the apples.

Cut the apples in half and remove some of the pulp to make the bowls, using a paring knife and spoon.

Put the apples “bowls” into a small baking dish, pour a mixture of apple cider and agave over them and bake at 325˚ for about 30 minutes.  While these are baking you can work on the filling.  Start with a butternut squash.  Actually, you could use any type of winter squash.  You need to peel and cube the squash into small pieces, small pieces cook faster.  You’re going to need about two cups of cubed squash, so you can save any remaining for another meal.

Wait, don’t throw the seeds out!  If you bought an organic squash, and you have a garden, you can use them to grow more squash next summer.  Spread the seed out on a plate to dry and store them in an envelope.  

Saute the apple pulp and squash in some non-hydrogenated margarine along with a little cider and  maple syrup for about fifteen minutes in a covered pan.  Keep an eye on it, stirring often, so it doesn’t burn.  If you add a lot of extra liquid it will be too loose to pipe into the apples.  Allow this mixture to cool a little before you put it into your food processor with a little salt and process until it’s smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag with a large tip and pipe into the baked apples.  Sprinkle with some pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and drizzle the thickened cider from the baked apples over the top.  If the liquid from the baked apples is not thick, pour it into the pan you used to saute the squash and bring it up to a boil and turn it off.  This will thicken it.

Squash Stuffed Apples
Serves 4 - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
2 Granny Smith or Pippin apples
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon fresh apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
2 heaping cups butternut squash, cubed
1 tablespoon Earth Balance non-hydrogenated margarine 
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pumpkin pie seasoning or cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 325˚
Core the apples and them cut them in half across the middle.  
Using a paring knife and spoon, scoop out some of the pulp to form apple “bowls”. Save the pulp.
Put the apple into a small baking dish.
Whisk together the apple cider and agave nectar and pour over the apples.
Bake for 30 minutes, basting the apples at least once with the sweetened cider in the dish
While the apples are baking, peel, seed and cube the squash.
In a skillet or large pot with a cover, melt the margarine over a medium low heat.
Add the cubed squash, reserved apple pulp, maple syrup and the tablespoon of cider and saute covered for 15 minutes.
Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick or burn.
Let the squash mixture cool for a few minutes uncovered before putting it into your food processor with the salt and blending until smooth.
Transfer the squash mixture to a pastry bag and pipe into the apples.
If the cider in the baking dish has not thickened, pour it into a small pot and bring to a fast simmer for 1 minute to thicken it
Pour the thickened cider over the stuffed apples and sprinkle them with pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.

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