An old-fashioned recipe this one and it comes from a book called The Accomplisht Cook, or the Art and Mystery of Cooking by Robert May. It was published in 1660. To put this in context, King Charles II was on the throne after the country had briefly been de-royalled by the big old puritan misery-guts Oliver Cromwell.
Robert May himself was from a family of chefs, but obviously wanted to tell the common man how to cook; at least via rich home owners. In those days, you see, the lady of the house would have presented the head cook/chef with such a book to use. Assuming they could read. Read more about him and his book here.
Anyways, this is a very good recipe to do in the autumn because a large variety of squashes are available. This recipe can be used with ‘gourds, pompions, cucumbers and musk melons’, i.e. any soft or hard squash. The squashes are first baked in the oven at 190⁰C until tender; the length of time will depend upon the size of the squash. If the skin is very thick, it would be better to simmer it, says Griggers. I used some quite small squashes and decided to bake them.
Meanwhile prepare the stuffing for the squashes. You need to chop some onion and apples in the ratio of 1:2. The original recipe suggests using Cox’s Orange Pippins. These are not available so I used Granny Smith apples as they are quite tart. Place them in a casserole dish along with a decent knob (or knobs) of butter. Cover and bake in the oven alongside the squashes.
When the squashes are done, cut in half and scoop out the seeds and keep warm while you deal with the filling. Mash the apples and onions together and season with sugar, salt and black pepper. Fill the squash halves generously and return the whole thing to the oven for a short time to give it time to dry out a little. Serve with hot buttered toast.