Today's recipe is for the home cook who doesn't bake. It's for the person who doesn't want to worry about measuring cups of flour and other ingredients and dirtying a bunch of bowls and utensils. It's for the person who loves a not-too-sweet dessert or wants a killer brunch recipe to serve for the holidays. Okay, this recipe can really be for everyone. Unless you don't like squash, pears, pecans, or vanilla. In which case, I am so very sorry.
While I do enjoy more traditional baking, I also love the idea of this sort of deconstructed, roasted dessert in a bowl. Not only is it served in a bowl but the little acorn squash also forms a natural bowl, holding all of the saucy goodness.
This bowl-themed recipe is dedicated to my wonderful blog friend, Cynthia, from Two Red Bowls. Get it now with the "bowls" theme? (hehe) The lovely Alana + Stephanie organized a spectacular blog-land baby shower to celebrate the arrival of Cynthia's little babe, Luke. He arrived last week and is totally adorable. Not much beats a tiny, squishy little newborn. That wrinkly skin and newborn smell are just everything. I'm sure it's even more amazing when it's your little baby. Eeep! Cynthia's latest post, introducing her little man, was the sweetest ever. It got me all the more excited about the upcoming arrival of our little one.
Here's to Cynthia, her husband, and baby Luke ("baby bowl"). I couldn't be happier for the three of you, and I'm wishing you the very best during this exciting, new time in your lives. I'm also fully expecting to hit you up when I'm freaking out in the first week after our girl is born. You'll have all the answers for me, right? :) Love to you!
Big thanks again to Alana + Stephanie for hosting this virtual baby shower for Cynthia! Be sure to check the hashtag #threeredbowls to see what everyone is posting!
Acorn Squash Bowls with Pears, Pecans and Vanilla Bean Cream
gluten-free, vegan // yields 8 servings
for the squash:
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 1-2 tablespoons refined avocado oil (or other neutral tasting cooking oil)
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 3 medium pears
- 1/4 cup butter, divided
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
- pinch of salt
for the cream: (non-vegan option listed in notes)
- 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight + drained (not necessary to soak if using Vita-Mix, Blentec, etc.)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy creamer (I used Califia Better Half)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 - 2-inch piece whole vanilla bean, cut into 2-3 pieces (pod + beans)
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
Preheat oven to 425° F and line a large baking sheet with parchment. Halve both squash from stem to end, remove seeds, then slice each half in half again (8 pieces total). Rub with a tablespoon or so of oil on all sides and place cut side down (either side) on the baking sheet. Roast for 18-20 minutes. Flip each piece to the other cut side and roast for another 10-15 minutes. Both cut edges should be deeply golden brown and squash will be tender.
Meanwhile, place all cream ingredients (except melted butter) in your blender. Blend working to high for about 60 seconds until completely smooth. Pour in melted butter and blend again. Thin out with a bit more water if needed. Consistency should pourable but not runny. It will thicken some as it sits. Add additional vanilla bean if desired. (I used a 2-inch piece.) Pour into a jar and set aside.
Heat a large skillet over med-low heat. Add the chopped pecans to the dry skillet and toast, stirring frequently, for 6-8 minutes until fragrant and starting to brown. Place in a bowl and wipe out the skillet.
Towards the end of the squash roasting, thinly slice your pears and discard the cores. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the pan with the sliced pears and about 4-5 tablespoons loosely packed brown sugar. Stir frequently until pears start to soften and butter and sugar are bubbly, about 5-8 minutes.
When squash is done, remove from the oven and turn facing up, resting on the outer shell. Sprinkle with 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar and break apart the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and place a dab in the "bowl" of each slice. Place in the oven for about 4-5 minutes until bubbly.
Remove and plate squash with warm pears and pecans, then drizzle with vanilla bean cream sauce.
Store cream in a sealed container in the fridge for about 1 week. Add a bit of water to thin out as needed and reheat in a pot over low heat.
If your vanilla beans are dry and hard, soak the cut piece in hot water for 15 minutes or so to soften.
For the non-vegan vanilla bean cream, use 6 tablespoons of water and 1/4 cup of half and half. Everything else remains the same.
Before I go, I have to give a shout out and mega thanks to my real-life and blog besties, Gena + Sonja for hosting my virtual shower yesterday! You can check #ediblebabybash for all of the amazing posts. The theme was breakfast, which was absolutely perfect. They know me too well! A huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who joined in. We are feeling quite loved over here!
Two Red Bowls baby shower links:
I am a Food Blog | Mac and Kimcheese Dolsot Bibimbap
Fix Feast Flair | Dishoom's Chicken Ruby Murray
The Fauxmartha | Mom Lunches
A Cozy Kitchen | Cornbread Chicken + Dumplings
Cake Over Steak | Salted Caramel Chocolate Crackles
The Pancake Princess | Stovetop Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Snixy Kitchen | Chicken Pot Pie with Chestnut Biscuits
Lady and Pups | Egg Florentine in Pullman "Bowls"
Betty Liu | Honeynut Squash Congee
Style Sweet CA | Date Bourbon Cinnamon Rolls
Warm Vanilla Sugar | Broccoli Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Sauce
A Beautiful Plate | Coconut Cauliflower Soup
Girl Versus Dough | Tomato Grilled Cheese Soup
Fork to Belly | A HUGE Hawaiian Fruit Bowl!!!
Donny Tsang | Chawanmushi
Wit & Vinegar | Jerk Chicken Chili
Constellation Inspiration | Salted Egg Yolk Custard Mochi
twigg studios | Katsu Udon Soup wth Popcorn Chicken Croutons
Edible Perspective | Acorn Squash Bowls with Pears, Pecans, and Vanilla Bean Cream
Coco Cake Land | Asian Bowl Cut Sugar Cookies
Southern Souffle | Sorghum Apple Biscuits In A Bowl
The Bojon Gourmet | Smoky Sweet Potato & Lentil Tortilla Soup
Flourishing Foodie | Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup
What should I eat for breakfast today | Little Bowl with Creamy Polenta, Cheese, Onions and Mushrooms
Top with Cinnamon | Squash & Crispy Kale Bowls with Pomegranate and Miso-Ginger Dressing
the broken bread | Roasted Celeriac + Fennel Soup
Fig+Bleu | Cauliflower Harissa Soup
my name is yeh | Corn Dog In A Bowl
Crepes of Wrath | Mini Scallion Pancake Challah Buns
O&O Eats | Persimmon Cobbler
The Pig and Quill | Slow Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew
Hungry Girl Por Vida | Rice Cooker Oats with Bruleed Bananas
Chocolate + Marrow | Parsnip + Potato Soup with Crispy Pancetta
With Food + Love | Caramelized Golden Beet Soup with Fall Roots + Garlicky Yogurt