Baked Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apples and Cranberries

Is there something like a sweet tooth or is everything an acquired taste? I wonder sometimes.. pretext being that neither me nor my husband have strong sweet cravings. Even as a kid all I asked my mom to prepare on every single of my birthdays was a simple fruit-salad! So preparing desserts is a rarity at our place (special occasions or family friends over for dinner). Sweet dishes that I do prepare at home are either a) traditional Marathi sweets that we do crave once in a while or b) some light fruit based desserts (tarts, crustless-pies.. you get the idea). Its not so much about watching sugar or calories, but just that neither of us really crave sweets. Okay, now before you think that I am this saint person who gets no sweet cravings let me assure you that like everything else in nature there are exceptions to this rule :-) First, I do get my bulk-load of non-saintness craving fried snacks like samosas and kachoris and second, did you say Tiramisu, Chocolate molten lava cake or coconut ice-cream!?!!

Anyway, ever since I saw this recipe of stuffed acorn squash on Mark Bittman's website I have been getting cravings for a similar dessert. The original recipe had stuffing of apples and bacon which I changed to apples and cranberries and for good measure spiced it up with an apple-pie'ish flavor. Acorn squash has been one of my favorite squashes - it tastes wonderful simply roasted with a bit of butter, sugar and cinnamon; but I must say that the apple-cranberry stuffing gave this dish such a depth of flavor! I loved this dish so much that I think I am going to try making this next with a baked apple base instead of an acorn squash just so that I can keep making this even when the acorn squash is out of season!

Acorn squash has a soft nutty flavor. It is not overpowering
in taste and blends really well with the spices and roasted apples. More about acorn squash from wiki. If acorn squash is not available in your area at this time, I would try substituting a crunchy apple base.

Here is how I made baked acorn squash stuffed with apples and cranberries:
Recipe source: Inspired from Mark Bittman's post

1 green acorn squash
1 apple (any baking apple would do; or for that matter any apple at hand would be fine too)
handful of dried cranberries
1tsp lime juice
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 Tbsp butter (room temperature)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (cardamom would be nice too)

1. Pre-heat oven to 375F
2. Cut the acorn squash into vertical halves like so:

3. Using a spoon remove the inner seeds.

4. Meanwhile prepare the apple-cranberry mixture. Cut an apple into small byte sized pieces.
5. Squeeze a little bit of lime juice so that apple does not discolor.
6. Mix the apple, cranberries, sugar, butter and cinnamon together.
7. Stuff the hollow acorn squash halves with the apple-cranberry mixture.
8. Press gently so that the stuffing won't spill during baking or transporting the squash halves to and from the oven.
9. Place the squash on an aluminium foil and bake at 375F for half an hour. Increase the oven temperature to 400F and bake for another 10mins.
10. After 40-mins of baking, check on the squash. Sometimes I do need an extra 10more minutes (depends on the squash). Pierce the yellow squash mass gently with a fork to check for doneness. Bake for 10 more minutes if desired at 375F. If the squash seems to be getting very dry I cover it with an aluminium foil for the last 10mins of baking.
11. Server warm on its own or with a dollop of ice-cream!


amt said…
This dish looks so yummy! I almost want to grab the squash and eat it now!!
Sonia said… head is spinning. how come you find out all these innovative dishes? Your pics are getting better now. Keep it up! :)
PJ said…
thanks amt! If they are in season, you will get to taste one of these the next time you stop by :)

Sonia, thanks :) This one was quite a luck as I happened to see the original recipe on Bittman's website. So glad you liked it though :)
sayantani said…
i loooove squash ands here is another mouthwatering recipe i could try next time. thanks!
PJ said…
thanks Sayantani! I am so glad you liked it :)
Unknown said…
Looks so delicious, healthy and guiltfree. Your pictures are awesome so picture perfect.
Spice said…
Nice click & yummy dessert...I know i love baked apples also like baked acorn squash but both together...sounds interesting....and thanks for stopping by at my space.....
SE said…
Hey hi..thanks for stopping by at my blog and for the wonderful comments..
PJ said…
thanks! i am so glad you all liked this :)
Caroline said…
hello, i stumbled upon this website through fat free vegan blog. the squash dish looks very delicious! keep up the good cookin'
suvi said…
thats a lovely click! And thanks for visiting my blog, hope to see you often :)
PJ said…
Thanks Pass the Style Plate! I am glad you enjoyed my blog.

Welcome to my blog, aqua! I am so glad you liked it.
Deepthi Shankar said…
this looks really delicious
Desisoccermom said…
Hi PJ,

I have lived in the US for almost 9 years now and have never eaten an acorn squash, ever! Credit it to my aversion to trying new veggies. But I am tempted to try this recipe, simply because I love cranberries and apples. :)
PJ said…
Deesha, thanks :)

Jaya, actually this was the first year I tried the acorn squash and that too at the insistence of a Trader Joe's employee at first! I was curiously staring at the squash and so he started telling me how his girlfriend makes this really delicious baked squash.. he sold me the squash at saying its worth a buy anyday at 99cents each.. I am sure glad I listened to him :)
Rajani said…
i need to get experimental too... i just cook everything on the stove and into some sort of stew or curry!!
PJ said…
Rajani, stew and curries are the best though :)
Unknown said…
You have an amazing range of inovational recipes here girl! Kudos....and the presentation and clicks are tempting....
PJ said…
Thanks for your kind and encouraging words, Supriya!
? said…
Thankyou PJ! Loved your space and the snapshots. The Acorn Squash looks pretty.. and the combination would work for a hearty Autumn dish!