Pureed maple squash
Begin with whole butternut squash. Halve and seed them, then roast them with nutmeg until they’re quite soft. Scoop out the flesh, add butter and cream, a drizzle of maple syrup and sprinkle of cinnamon, and you have a creamy, comforting, and quite pretty puree. If you want to make this dish with peeled and seeded squash, use 6 large halves and add a little water to the baking dish; roast for 45 minutes or until tender.
|Olive oil (for the dish)|
|3||large unpeeled butternut squash|
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|1/2||teaspoon grated nutmeg, or to taste|
|4||tablespoons butter, cut up|
|2/3||cup heavy cream or half-and-half|
|1/2||teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste|
|1/2||to 1 tablespoon maple syrup|
2. Halve the squash, remove the seeds and pulp and place in the dish or pan, cut sides up. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of the nutmeg. Roast the squash for 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a skewer.
3. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool. With a spoon, scoop the flesh from the skins and transfer to a bowl.
4. With a fork, mash the squash and beat in the butter, cream, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add 1/2 tablespoon of the maple syrup, taste for seasoning, and add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon if you like. Add more salt, pepper, nutmeg, or cinnamon. (To prepare ahead 1 day, cook and puree the squash; cover and refrigerate. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until the mixture is hot.) Catherine Smart