Acorn squash apple pie
Naturally sweet acorn squash makes a beautiful and delicious—not to mention nutritious—edible bowl for spiced apples. The squash gets a head start on cooking in the microwave, then is brushed with maple syrup and seasoned with apple pie spice before roasting in the oven until caramelized and tender. Meanwhile, sweet apples slowly cook in a covered pan on the stovetop to steam-sauté until buttery soft. The crowning touch is a buttery pecan streusel that crisps up in the final minutes in the oven. It’s a striking dessert that you can easily double, triple, or quadruple for a dinner party.
Uncooked acorn squash
1 small, about 1 1/4 lb
Apple pie spice
2 medium, such as Honeycrisp or Braeburn
Unpacked light brown sugar
Uncooked old fashioned oats
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap; pierce once to vent. Microwave on High for 6 minutes. Carefully uncover dish. Arrange squash, cut side up on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush evenly with 1 tsp maple syrup, and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon apple pie spice and 1 pinch of salt. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven (keep oven on).
- Meanwhile, cut apples into quarters. Cut each quarter in half crosswise, then cut into thin slices. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray pan with cooking spray. Add apples and 1 Tbsp water to pan. Cover and cook until apples are tender, 7-8 minutes (add more water, 1 Tbsp at a time, if apples start to stick or scorch). Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in 1 tsp brown sugar, remaining 1 tsp maple syrup, remaining ½ teaspoon apple pie spice, and remaining pinch of salt. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Uncover and stir in vanilla.
- Place butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High until melted, 20-30 seconds. Stir in oats, pecans, and remaining 2 tsp brown sugar. Divide apple mixture evenly between squash halves. Sprinkle streusel evenly over apples. Bake at 425°F until streusel is lightly browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Serve warm.
- Serving size: 1 filled squash half
To make ahead, prepare the squash as directed in step 1 and the apples as directed in step 2. Cool squash and apples and refrigerate separately up to 2 days. Reheat squash in microwave for about 1 minute and apples for about 1 minute. Proceed with recipe starting with step 3.