Turn any winter squash into this holiday season's go-to gift, breakfast, and dessert -- an entertaining triple threat. Virant adds it to ice cream and pumpkin bars, or you can stir it into plain yogurt and oatmeal, smear it on toast and cake. As you might expect, this packs well and makes a handsome gift at any scale you want to make it. It also freezes well, and keeps in the fridge for a few weeks. Because it's low in acidity, it's not safe for water-bath canning. Recipe adapted slightly from The Preservation Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2012). —Genius Recipes
about 6 cups
Roasted Pumpkin or Winter Squash
(2 to 3) pumpkin or winter squash, halved and seeded
Vegetable oil for coating
(3 pounds) roasted pumpkin or winter squash pulp
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Brush the cut sides of the pumpkins with oil. Place the halves, cut side down, in a baking pan and roast for 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a knife. (This varies widely depending on the squash variety. A delicata may cook in 35 minutes while a butternut or kabocha can take 1 hour.)
Using a spoon, scrape the flesh into a bowl and discard the skins.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a bowl, mix together the roasted pumpkin, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Spread onto a 9 by 13-inch baking pan and bake, stirring every 15 minutes with a spatula, until the pumpkin has become thick and slightly caramelized, about 1 1/2 hours.
Give it a good stir at the end; it should be smooth and spreadable. If the pumpkin is too fibrous for your liking, blend it in a food processor to even out the texture. If it is thicker than you'd like, you can thin it with a little water.
Cool and refrigerate or freeze in a couple of plastic deli containers until ready to use.