I know it's not fall quite yet but let's face it, September is just around the corner. And this morning, the chill in the wind and the deep golden glow of the sun conveyed a gentle reminder that summer will soon be coming to a close. I hope you'll excuse me getting a little ahead of things with this autumnal buttercup squash recipe, but fall is my favourite time of year, especially when it comes to cooking since the earth provides such tasty delights in this season.
I've already told you about my obsession with Tarte Tatin, a classic French dessert that consists of caramelized apples in an upside-down pie. Once baked, the pie is flipped over and voila. When you've been bitten by the tatin bug, it's a little hard to stop and I love experimenting with savoury vegetable tatins (you may recall my Leek Tatin recipe from a previous post). Because of the sweetness of buttercup squash and maple syrup, this particular one rides that fine line between dessert and dinner. It could go either way really, but I've added fresh sage to the syrup because I imagine it as an accompaniment to a Thanksgiving or autumn harvest dinner. Perhaps as a side to roasted chicken. In any case, it makes a wonderful alternative to puréed squash.
The best thing about this recipe is its simplicity. You only need 4 ingredients & a batch of your favourite pie crust. Tatins are traditionally baked right in the skillet but after some hair-raising experiences where the darling tatin remained firmly engaged to the pan and did not invert, I prefer the safety of a pie plate and good old parchment paper, as you can see in the video. I still always hold my breath when I flip a tatin, but it's like Christmas morning when you get to peel back the paper and reveal what's underneath. Oooh and ahhh. I hope you'll try it. Bon appétit!
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 to 2 teaspoons of minced fresh sage
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 medium to large sized buttercup squash
1 batch of your favourite pie crust
Cut the squash in half and roast cut side down on oiled baking sheet at 375F for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender but still holding its shape. (Or you can peel and cut the squash before roasting if you prefer). Meanwhile, simmer maple syrup in a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add chopped sage and butter. Once butter is melted immediately pour into a buttered pie plate that is lined with a buttered piece of parchment paper. Once the squash has cooled, cut into pieces and peel the skin. Arrange the squash pieces on top of the syrup, rounded side facing down. Roll out the pie dough to size of pie dish and place on top of squash pieces, tucking in the edges all around. Bake in 350F oven for about 30 minutes, or until pie dough is slightly golden. Remove from oven and immediately invert onto plate. Peel away parchment paper and serve.
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