One of the better things about fall and winter is the
opportunity to whip out your Fondue Stuffed Pumpkin recipe again and again. It's actually a rich, layered casserole, not a fondue. But the pumpkin is
stuffed and baked with all the classic cheese fondue ingredients, Gruyere and
Emmentaler cheeses, heavy cream, nutmeg, and French bread.
The "fondue" together with the
roasted pumpkin is surprisingly addictive and, on the whole, just unusual
enough to make a great impression on guests. It's a keeper, for sure.
Wonderful entree or side dish.
1 18-inch baguette
1 10-pound (orange) pumpkin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1-1/4 cups dry white wine or chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg (fresh is best)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces)
3 cups shredded Emmentaler cheese (about 8 ounces)
Turn your oven on to 450˚. While it's heating, cut the French bread into 1-inch squares. Spread the pieces out on a baking sheet and lightly toast them in the oven, 8-10 minutes.
Make a "cookie jar lid" for the pumpkin by cutting a circle evenly around the stem, about 4 inches across. Scoop out the seeds and strands. Cover a shallow roasting pan with foil, if you like, for easy clean-up. Brush the pan or foil and the entire outside of the pumpkin with olive oil. Place the oiled pumpkin in the roasting pan.
Whisk the heavy cream, wine or broth, salt, pepper and nutmeg together. Toss the cheeses together in another bowl. It's time to stuff the pumpkin.
Assembly: Cover the bottom of the pumpkin with toasted French bread.* Sprinkle a cup of cheese over the bread. Drizzle 1/2 cup of cream mixture over the cheese. Repeat until the layers reach 1 inch below the rim; the contents will expand. Always use all of the cream mixture. Always end the layering with the cream mixture, even if you have other ingredients left over.
Put the lid on the pumpkin and bake for 1-1/2 hours, give or take, until the pumpkin flesh is tender and the filling has puffed. Serve with a scoop of pumpkin and a scoop of the filling.
This recipe serves 8 easily as an entree, 12 to 14 as a side dish.