With such a big family, it's not often that each and every one of us is in the same place at the same time. We do our best on holidays and birthdays, but every year, we make it a point to get together late in September or early in October out at my in-laws' house in long island and have "Apple Weekend"!
We go apple picking together and all take home our harvest and each cook something for that dinner's meal with apples in the recipe. It sounds a little corny on paper, but really it's superfun and autumnal and awesome to all be together. On the table we had an Apple and Cabbage Soup, Lentil, Pumpkin, and Apple Curry, Seitan loaf stuffed with butternut squash, apples, mushrooms, and lentils (that I bought from Field Roast and made a mushroom gravy for) and a few other goodies. This year I made some apple sauce then cooked it in acorn squash. They were so yummy and a perfect addition to the meal.
Here's how I did it: 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
2. Cut the apples (with the skins) into a medium dice and place them into a dutch oven (use gueswork for your quantities...I'd say 2-3 apples per serving. I must have used 25 apples).
3. With the juice of 1 lemon, coat the apples by mixing well throughout the cutting process to avoid browning.
4. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon of nutmeg, and 1/4 cup maple syrup to the apples and mix.
5. Cover the pot and place the whole thing in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour until the apples are completely soft and stirable.
6. While the apples cook, you can prep the squash by cutting them in half (again guesswork with quantities here...each half should be full of apples, and you don't need to use all the sauce, so make as many halves as you are planning to serve).
7. Once halved, remove the seeds (you can set these aside and bake them on a sheet with salt: superhealthy and superyummy).
8. Next, take the pot out of the oven and stir the apples with a wooden spoon so that it breaks up into a sauce as you stir.
9. Put the squashes on a baking sheet and fill each of the squash halves with sauce.
10. On the flat part of the exposed flesh of the squash spread a bit of Earth Balance and drizzle with maple syrup.
11. Pop them back into the oven for another 45 minutes or until the squash flesh is sufficiently soft. You'll see some caramelization at the bottom of the squashes when they're done.
12. Serve warm!