Maple Roasted Acorn Squash w/Winter Fruit Compote
Acorn squash basted with butter and maple syrup, oven-roasted and filled with a bourbon-laced winter fruit compote make a delicious alternative to sweet potatoes. Serve alongside roast turkey, ham or pork.
- 4 acorn squash (about 1-1/2 lbs each)
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Winter Fruit Compote:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 2 Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and coat a shallow baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cut the squash in half crosswise, then trim a small slice from the rounded ends so you have a flat base for roasting. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and reserve them for another purpose or discard. Arrange the squash, seeded side up on the prepared baking pan.
- Combine the melted butter and maple syrup in a small bowl and brush the mixture into the cavities and onto the cut surface of the squash. Season with salt and pepper.
- Roast the squash until very tender, 50 to 55 minutes, basting with the melted butter mixture twice during cooking.
- While the squash roasts, prepare the fruit compote. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cider, bourbon and brown sugar and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Add the apricots and cherries and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a light syrup, 8 to 12 minutes.
- Add the pears and apple and continue cooking just until tender, 4 to 6 minutes longer.
- When the squash are finished roasting, fill each with a portion of fruit compote, then return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes before serving.