Cornbread and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash
Just a note on authenticity: This recipe includes two ingredients, apples and butter, that wouldn’t have been available during the time of the ‘first’ Thanksgiving. Although, it is said the Pilgrims brought butter, this butter had turned rancid during the trip across the ocean. Even though there was a native type of apple called Crabapple, they are very different from the apples used in this recipe. The apples used in this recipe were later brought from Europe and planted in the United States.
To Bake the Acorn Squash:
Half an acorn squash per person
Oil or butter
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Slice the acorn squash in half, lengthwise. Clean out the seeds with a spoon. Place the squash on a roasting pan. Pour about an inch or two of water into the pan. If the squash are falling on their sides, slice a thin piece off the bottom so they sit upright in pan and don’t fall over.
Add an amount of maple syrup that is according to your taste into the hollow of the squash. Season with salt and add a pat of butter in the middle.
Roast the squash until it is tender. Then, pour off the maple syrup into a cup or bowl and save for the stuffing.
To Stuff the squash:
1 - 8 inch square pan of cornbread, or 9 inch round pan, or a dozen corn muffins cut into bite size cubes
4-5 tablespoons of oil or butter
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced sweet or purple onion
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped or sliced in half
1 cup or less of vegetable, turkey, or chicken broth
2 tablespoons of syrup from the pre-baked squash
Salt to taste
Lower the oven to 325ºF.
Toast the cornbread cubes on a baking sheet until slightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil or butter in a skillet, add the celery, onion, and apples. Cook until softened.
In a large mixing bowl, place the celery, onion, apple mixture. Then add the cranberries and salt to taste, mix well.
Next, gently stir in the toasted cornbread. Add the syrup from the pre-baked squash. Then add small amounts of broth, a little at a time until you get the moistness you want, then gently mix to combine.
Fill baked squash with this mixture and return to the oven until thoroughly warm.