Butternut Squash Crown Roast Adventures


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  Let me preface this by saying that this isn’t my own recipe it’s from Cooking Light, but I wanted to share about the adventure that I had making this today.  

img_0890

Though I picked up my 23 pound turkey from the farmstand yesterday, my family celebrates a full-on Thanksgiving on Saturday, which we’ve lovingly come to refer to as “Fakesgiving”, so my turkey sits waiting to be brined and baked.  For the actual Thanksgiving day, I thought I’d try this recipe, shared by Fellow Springdellian Pam H.  It looked like too much fun not to try. I envisioned a Thanksgiving morning with the Macy’s day parade playing quietly in the background while the preparing the roast, maybe the kids having fun making the little paper crowns for the roast at the kitchen table and chatting about their gratitudes…

img_0878

The first thing the recipe calls for is 2 2.5 pound butternut squashes.  After confidently strolling downstairs to my cold storage bins of squash, I came to realize that I only had one butternut squash left, and that it was a whopping 6.294 pounds!  Hmmm, is this going to mess with the structural integrity of the crown roast?  Perhaps I can work around it.  

img_0879

After some elbow grease, I halved the squash behemoth to expose it’s lovely deep orange center.  At this point I decided that I’d cut the tops short, using the bottom halves in the roast and sticking a wedge from the top half in if needed.

img_0882

I prepared my acorn squash and butternut wedges according to the recipe.  So far, so good!

img_0884

This is the part where things start to go a bit awry.  The recipe calls for a 10 inch springform pan, which I do not own.  The springform pan in the background of this picture is a 7 inch one, and judging by it’s size, even a 10 inch springform pan would also have been laughable next to my behemoth squash.  I once again decided to improvise, wrapping kitchen twine around the squash in lieu of the pan.  It’s also at this point when I realize that my bamboo skewers are 5 inches too long, so I have my other half grab me some snips from the toolshed to cut off the excess.  

img_0886

After stuffing acorn squash in the center of the roast, I basted it with maple syrup and amish roll butter.  So far, so good!

img_0887

Though the picture in the original recipe shows the cranberries added for garnish at the very end, I decided to add them 15 minutes before the end of the roasting process, allowing them a little softening up.  

img_0888

Here is what came out of the oven.  The roast had a bit of a lean to the side as it cooked, but so did the original.  think as it cooks, gravity works it’s magic.  

img_0890

The boys helped me to make the little paper things as the squash was cooking (in reality, they made one each and were back in the playroom in 60 seconds). The whole roast was easier to transfer to the table than I envisioned, though I needed to keep the foil underneath it on the serving plate.  In the end, I was a bit nervous about taking both pieces of kitchen twine off of the squash, so I left one on.  After taking the photo I removed the second piece of twine without issue.  As my final misstep, I had forgotten to snap a photo with the twine removed.

img_0892

The next photo I snapped was when half of the roast was gone.  Overall it was a fun experiment with some quintessential Thanksgiving ingredients!  Remember if you embark on this endeavor at home, here are my tips:

  • Ensure you have the correct size springform pan, or enough kitchen twine to mimic one.
  • Ensure you have the correct size squashes for best results (2.5 pounds)
  • Bamboo skewers of 4 inches in length are great for this recipe. 
  • Baste your squash along the way, as the maple syrup mixture tends to slide off the squash wedges as it cooks.
  • Pop the cranberries on a few minutes early if you’d like a roasted treat and don’t mind the possibility of berry bleed on your squash.  
  • If making the paper crowns, be prepared to do so by yourself if your kids lose interest.

Thanks again to fellow Springdellian Pam H. for turning me on to this recipe, and to our fellow cooks at Cooking Light!  Do you have an idea to share with us?  Is there a favorite recipe that you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear from you!  


About Jess

Jess Anderson is the creator of CSA|365 and is passionate about the local food movement. A busy mother of two, Jess loves keeping her family fed by honest local food. She is involved with the Westford Community Garden Working Group, Friends of Fat Moon, and is the current chair of the Westford Strawberries 'N Arts Festival.