Recipe: Orange Glazed Acorn Squash

This was a few weeks ago, but I am still deeply proud of myself. I remember my mom, in one of her few acts of cooking that doesn’t involve the microwave, making acorn squash with a brown sugar glaze when I was a kid.

I adapted this from a Bobby Flay recipe that I found on the Food Network website. Again, half the point was to make something delicious and the other half was to use up the box of oranges my parents have given me. Technically I was supposed to grill the squash but I don’t own a grill.

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The “before” shot.

Instead, I used a cast iron grill pan that will probably never forgive me, although by now I’ve cleaned it as best I can.

Anyway, this recipe wasn’t difficult and the results were very tasty. Acorn squash prepared this way tends to be a cross between side dish and dessert, but with the orange it was nicely tart as well as sweet.


Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
  • 1/16 cup melted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

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    Slightly burnt but still yummy. Also, I’m not sure I reduced the glaze down quite enough, but oh well.
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/8 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 whole allspice berries
  • 1 stick cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Brush or spray the cut side of the squash with the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place squash, cut-side down, on a baking sheet and bake until almost tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. While the squash is baking, combine the orange juice, brown sugar, allspice, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Cook over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, stirring often. 
  5. When the squash is done, place cut side up on a cast iron grill pan and brush with the orange glaze.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn over with tongs and cook for 5 more minutes, or until tender and glaze is caramelized.
  7. Remove from heat and pour the rest of the glaze into the “bowl” of each squash half. Serve warm.

Recipe: Orange Spice Cake (gf)

My parents have two orange trees in their backyard and had to start dripping up the branches with two by fours before Halloween to keep them from breaking under the weight of the fruit. Thus, we have a box of oranges. So this week is one big brainstorming session on how to use up oranges in stuff.

71k8umh3vsl-_sy679_Since I happened to find a Pamela’s gluten free Spice Cake Mix in the clearance bin at Raley’s, I decided this would be a prime opportunity for some experimental baking.

The recipe on the back of the bag calls for 1 cup of milk, 3 eggs, and 1/2 cup of butter. I substituted orange juice for milk (hand juiced, tra-la-la-la-la) and olive oil for butter, since I was vaguely sure the citric acid might do something unpleasant to the dairy. Then I added an “I guess this looks good” amount of cocoa powder, because who doesn’t like chocolate, and half a cup of chopped almonds for texture. Poured that in muffin tins and popped them in the oven at 350 for what ended up being about 35-40 minutes.

Instead of frosting I made an orange glaze with 3/4 cup of orange juice, one cup of sugar… and a splash of water to get the rest of the stuck-on sugar off the inside of the measuring cup. Let that simmer for a while until it seemed less runny, which I loosely defined as “kinda leaves a residue on the spatula.”

When the cakes were done, I popped them out of the pans and into a foil-lined baking dish and dumped all the glaze over them so some would soak in on the bottoms and give it some extra moisture. (I didn’t use muffin papers, and actually forgot to even grease the pans. Lol, whoops! But they popped out fine.)

End result, they are delicious little cakes of goodness. The spice of the spice cake mix comes through stronger than the chocolate and the orange, but it’s all in there, and the almonds give it a nice texture. And that glaze? Good. Good glaze. I’m not sure if it was the gluten free or the not using milk, but the cakes would have been very dry and dense without the glaze, which is both sweet and tart at the same time. Would make again.


 

Cake Ingredients:

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Not the best picture ever, but they’ve all been eaten now.
  • 1 bag of Pamela’s gluten free Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3-4 tbsp cocoa powder

Orange Glaze Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar

Makes 10-12.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine all the cake ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. Pour the batter into large muffin tins, each cup about 3/4 cups full.
  4. Bake according to cake mix instructions, or possibly longer until it’s done in the middle.
  5. When the cakes are done, set them out to let them cool.
  6. Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  7. When it starts to bubble to the top of the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer and let it go for about 15 more minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
  8. Line a baking dish or shallow pan with tin foil.
  9. Pop the cakes out of the tin into the foil-lined dish and pour the glaze over the tops of them.
  10. Let soak at least until the glaze on top has cooled to more sticky than runny, then eat at your leisure.