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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Butternut Squash in Cream & Cinnamon

YESTERDAY afternoon I finally found the time to make butternut squash in cream and cinnamon from the book, The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food by Judith Jones.

fully prepped and ready for the oven
Over the weekend, I'd stopped at (my favorite) Westside Market to pick up a squash and other provisions. I must admit to cheating a bit with this recipe; instead of buying one whole, two-pound squash, I bought two 20 oz. packages of peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash--only because I was at my trusted grocer, from whom I'd also purchased one choice heirloom tomato and a package of wild-caught flat filets of anchovies packed in salt and olive oil (which might I add were mighty fine).

a snack to hold me over while the
butternut squash was baking
Quoting Judith Jones, "the food processor... [makes] the grating a snap" for this recipe which requires grating the two-pound squash (after peeling, seeding and quartering it). I used my handy Osterizer fourteen-speed blender on its grate setting. (I found that using five or so 1 to 1½" cubes at a time works best. You want a few to bounce up and hit the lid of the blender at the start.) 

The next step was to spread half of the grated squash over the bottom of a shallow baking dish, sprinkle with salt and cinnamon, and repeat with the rest. The final step is to slowly pour one cup heavy cream over the squash, allowing it to seep down. After about fifty minutes in a 350° oven, this was the end result:

I had to do a little poking here and there to test for
doneness, but I don't think I marred it too much

This recipe was so simple and its results so delicious that I think it'd be the perfect accompaniment for any of the upcoming seasonal festivities.

Butternut Squash in Cream and Cinnamon 
Serves 6

1 large butternut squash (at least 2 pounds)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup heavy cream

  • Cut the squash into quarters, remove the seeds, and peel it (a sharp vegetable peeler is the best tool). 
  • Grate the squash through the coarse holes of the grating blade of the food processor. 
  • Spread half of the grated squash over the bottom of a shallow 1- or ½-quart baking dish, sprinkle salt over lightly, then dust with half of the cinnamon; repeat with the rest. 
  • Pour the cream over slowly, letting it seep down. 
  • Bake, covered loosely with foil, in a preheated 350-degree oven for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until the squash is very tender.

The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food is available for purchase at Amazon.com.
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