‘Tis the season for orange food, candy that is corn, and pumpkin spice up the yin-yang.
Please, do not get me started.
Now that Halloween is over, and the weather in New England can’t decide if it wants to be fall or winter,
I propose an alternative squash to talk about, obsess over, and commercialize until you’re ready to switch to things like egg nog spice and gingerbread spice.
But first, I propose a topic:
The butternut squash is neither a butter nor a nut.
It’s smoother than pumpkin. Maybe not as carve-able, but definitely easier to clean. And certainly just as delicious.
So no, it is not a nut. But I decided I’m making it a butter, because I’ll take any excuse I can get to say butter twice in one phrase.
And this Butternut Butter is so good, I think Linda Richman herself might get verklempt. Make this, and maybe some coffee, and then talk amongst yourselves. No big whoop.
1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup pure dark amber maple syrup, plus 1/4 cup, divided
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
11/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp ground all spice
1/4 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
Toss the cubed butternut squash with 1/2 cup of maple syrup and 1/2 tap kosher salt in a large baking dish, (I used a glass 9 x 13 pan), and bake in the center of a 400° F oven for about 40 minutes.
If the syrup gets too brown or bubbly, turn the oven down to 375° F and toss the cubes with a spatula.
When the squash is fork-tender, take it out and let it cool completely.
Pour the squash, and any remaining syrup from the pan into a large saucepan.
Add in the additional 1/4 cup of syrup, the almond milk, honey, vanilla, and all of the spices. Toss and cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes, smooshing the cooked squash into a paste.
Using an immersion blender, liquify the mixture so it is smooth with no lumps. If it is too thick, add a couple more splashes of almond milk and combine.
At this point you could serve immediately with toast-cookies-graham-crackers-apples-or-anything-you-put-butter-or-peanut-butter-on-really or, you could go all out and jar the stuff for later use.
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