If you’re looking for a quintessential Autumn side dish, this is it! You can vary the proportions of the ingredients, more or less squash, quince, apple, pear based on what you have on hand. Definitely keep the quince in, it really enhances the apple flavor as well as adding subtle pineapple and guava taste notes. Sweetener is optional here, I’ve made it with and without and like both. You can alway put some maple syrup or honey on the table and allow people to add some into their serving of the purée.
1 medium Butternut or other winter squash
1 – 2 medium quinces
2 – 3 apples or pears, or a combination
3 – 4 T vegetable oil or melted butter, or a combination
salt and pepper, to taste
maple syrup, honey, or other sweetener, optional
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Peel the squash if you like. (Butternut I don’t usually peel.) Halve, seed, and chop into 1 – 2″ pieces. Put into a casserole dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. Do the same for the quince, and also the apple (though peeling the apple is optional). If using a pear like Bosc pear, peel it–the peel is grainy. Pour 2 – 3 T of oil over all and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper, then spread out in the dish or baking sheet.
3. Bake until tender, anywhere from 30 minutes and on, depending on the size of the pieces. If you don’t want to purée this, don’t let it get mushy-tender.
4. Remove from oven. Transfer to a food processor. You may need to do this in batches. Purée or keep it a little chunky. Transfer to a serving bowl. If you think it’s needed, add another tablespoon of oil or butter. Taste for seasonings. If not puréeing, then transfer to a serving bowl. Add more oil if you like, plus more salt and pepper.
5. If you like, stir in some sweetener.