Serves 8 to 10
- Active time:30 min
- Start to finish:45 min
Maple squash is a time-honored Thanksgiving staple, but there are plenty of other ways to go with butternut. See our variations, below, for a few ideas.
butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (10 cups)
pure maple syrup
unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
Simmer squash in water with 1 teaspoon salt in a 5-quart pot (water will not cover squash), covered, until squash is very tender, about 15 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid, then drain squash in a colander.
Purée squash, syrup, and butter in batches in a food processor until smooth, adding reserved cooking liquid if purée is too thick. Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in pepper and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt.
Add crumbled bacon: Cook 6 bacon slices in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then crumble and sprinkle over purée.
Add 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger to purée along with pepper and salt.
Cooks’ note: Purée can be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat in a microwave, double boiler, or preheated 350°F oven, adding water as needed, before serving.