Can't make up your mind how fancy to get? Here are 2 presentations of this tasty squash--one homey and one for "dress-up."
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F. Bring 1 quart water to a simmer. Cut squash in half horizontally and clean insides. Place cut-side down in a low-sided baking dish, fill with simmering water to about 1 inch. Bake 20 minutes.
AS A TRADITIONAL VEGETABLE: Combine butter, spices and maple syrup. Turn squash over and fill with the butter mixture. Top with bacon slices, crossed. Return to oven and cook until the tip of a sharp knife easily pierces the flesh, about 30-40 minutes. Serve in shell.
AS TIMBALES: Turn the squash over after the first 20 minutes in the oven and add 1 tablespoon of butter to each half. Bake until they can easily be pierced with a sharp knife, about 30-40 minutes. Carefully scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl, reserving the shells. Beat in remaining ingredients and eggs. Place mixture into shells or timbales, and return to oven for 20-25 minutes or until set.