I first tried this spectacular recipe for Thanksgiving in 2008 when it first appeared in Gourmet magazine…the sight of an entire pumpkin being brought to the table, warm and slightly browned, is only topped by the taste of the yummy cheese, broth and cream that is scooped from within. I have since served this a few times at dinner parties and the pumpkin never ceases to delight and surprise my guests. This year, I used a smaller pumpkin (about 4 pounds) which proved to be the perfect size amongst the other antipasti being served. And once again the filling disappeared quickly with yummy sighs of delight all around. Serve as a fondue with spoons to scoop out the yummy filling!!
Roast Pumpkin with Cheese “Fondue”
From Gourmet magazine, November 2008
1 (15-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 (7-lb) pumpkin
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere (6 oz)
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 oz)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with rack in lower third of oven. Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
2. Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem with small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside the pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin, reserve seeds for another use if desired.) Season inside of pumpkin with 1/2 tsp. salt.
3. Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper in bowl. Mix together cheese in another bowl.
4. Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 of the cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all the cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over.)
5. Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Enjoy….
NOTE: Pumpkin can be filled 2 hours before baking and chilled.