Our friend Natalie first made this pumpkin and gruyere appetizer for us a few years ago, from a recipe she found on Epicurious, via Gourmet magazine. We’ve been eating it ever since. Not only is this recipe delicious, it’s genius, because your fondue pot is a pumpkin. So, after you eat the rich, gooey, fragrant fondue, there’s nothing to clean – just toss the pot in the compost. Voila!
Preheat the oven to 450°F with the rack in the lower third.
Cut a 3″ hole in the top of a 7 pound pumpkin and remove the innards (seeds and fibers). Don’t use a sugar pumpkin, just a regular old pumpkin. Also, the 7 pound size is important, because if it’s too large, the pumpkin won’t cook enough, and if it’s too small, you won’t be able to fit lots of cheese inside, which would be terrible. Season the inside of the pumpkin with 1/2 tsp salt.
Slice a baguette into slices and toast slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in the oven until the tops are crisp (bread will still be pale), about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Whisk together 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup broth, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. In another bowl, mix together 2 1/2 cups gruyere and 2 1/2 cups Emmental cheeses.(You can use other cheeses too – whatever suits you.)
Put a layer of toasted bread in the bottom of the pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 cup cream mixture.
Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all of cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over. Natalie says it’s hard to stuff all the cheese and bread in there. But, leftover bread and cheese is hardly a tragedy. You could use whatever’s left to make a fennel gratin, for example.)
Cover the pumpkin with its top and put it in an oiled, small roasting pan. Brush outside of the pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until the pumpkin is tender and the filling is puffed – about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
Serve warm, fresh from the oven. We let this rest for 15 minutes or so before transferring to a serving dish.
- 1 (15-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (7 ounces total)
- 1 (7-pound) orange pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (6 ounces)
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Browse all of our Thanksgiving recipes (from years past and present) here.
- Roasted Pumpkin, Sausage and Sage Risotto with Gruyere (myfancypantry.com)
- Cream Cheese Pickle Wraps with Prosciutto – An Easy Thanksgiving Recipe (seattlefoodshed.wordpress.com)