To cut down on stove top time and to give it that full bodied roasted flavor, I roasted the butternut squash before pureeing. Mixed with apple cider, pumpkin pie spice, and sweetened by maple syrup, this is clean recipe that tastes great on crackers, mixed into yogurt, or to eat by the spoonful. It's wonderful paired with plain chevre. Gift a jar of butternut butter with a crusty loaf of bread, homemade graham crackers, or goat cheese and crackers. —Mary Catherine Tee
Heat oven to 400° F. Trim the ends from the squash, then halve lengthwise, discarding the seeds. Transfer the squash, cut-side up, to a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Rub tops of squash with oil or butter.
Cover the squash with foil. Roast until softened, 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover and set aside until cool enough to handle. Working in batches, scoop the softened squash from the shells and place into a food processor. Add 1 1/2 cup of apple cider, reserving extra 1/2 cup for later.
Puree the squash mixture until smooth.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cider-puree mixture, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and maple syrup. Stir to mix.
Simmer mixture, uncovered, over medium for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. If mixture begins to dry out, add reserved apple cider.
After 20 minutes, remove from heat. Once cooled, use a pressure cooker to can in 1/2 pint mason jars. Gift a jar of butternut butter with a crusty loaf of bread, homemade graham crackers, or goat cheese and crackers.
I’m an old soul. My favorite Saturday morning activity is watching birds on the feeder while drinking strong, black coffee out of my favorite hand-thrown mug. My favorite place to kill time is in antique stores. The less organized the better. I like full-bodied red wines and bitter IPAs. I live for feeling the warmth of sunshine and hearing the stillness of freshly fallen snow. I can thank my stint in Alaska for that. I have salt water in my veins, having grown up in Eastern NC, and (shhh…don’t tell any of my Mainer friends this about me) I prefer blue crab over lobster.