At about 1:00 AM, I can see the Great Square of Pegasus and Orion the Hunter from my balcony. This celestial marker, amongst relatively few others, is a sure sign that it's fall. At this point, I expect to see the leaves changing color and the day time temperatures to be around 60 on a warm day. Instead, what I see are unchanging leaves, daytime highs in the upper 80s and an extreme lack of unpasteurized cider.
I had planned on blogging about all the different available ciders in the greater Austin area and lamenting how much terrible they all are compared to anything from Michigan, but so far, I've only found two pasteurized ciders. I expected Whole Foods to be a better bet for stuff like that, but, alas, I have been thwarted. The one that I've tried is a pasteurized cider from Louisburg, Kansas. One of my fellow stranded Michiganders brought over some to try during the absolutely victorious Michigan State-Michigan game. It mostly tasted like apple juice, and I wouldn't call it better than nothing because it's almost 7 bucks for a gallon at HEB. Much sadness.
I wasn't really into the idea of spending 7 bucks on another disappointing pasteurized cider, so I decided to put the remainder to good use. Two weeks ago, we went to the farmers market and came back with a very pretty heirloom acorn squash. I've just gotten around to doing something with it, so my solution was adapted from Elana's Pantry. Basically, you take acorn squash and play up its sweetness against tart apples and I used dried cherries.
1 acorn squash, halved and seeded (but don't throw out the seeds!)
1/2 large apple (I used granny smith), diced
2/3 c dried cherries
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs butter
crushed black pepper
place the acorn squash face down in a baking dish. add in about 1/4-1/2 in of the juice. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes at 350. Toss the apples and cherries together in the cinnamon. Take out the squash and try not to pour ridiculously hot liquid all over the inside of your oven. Good luck with that part. Flip over the squash and add in the apples+cherries, along with a couple grinds of black pepper, and a tbs of butter on top. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Nom carefully, as they are hot. real hot.
Whilst the squash were roasting, I separated the seeds from the pulp, put them in a single layer on an oiled baking pan, salted them and put them in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. I actually like them better than pumpkin seeds.