This is one of the coolest things to make. It is crazy putting a whole pumpkin in the oven and so much fun. I first served it as one of the tapas for a pre Thanksgiving event. Pairs great with a Gewurztraminer and even better with Prager Aria (a white port).
Small pumpkin with a flat bottom. I suggest a pie pumpkin for the best flavor and a perfect size.
12 oz Swiss cheese, grated (I like using Gruyere but Emmenthaler or Appenzeller will also work)
French bread, sliced and toasted (Get a good loaf)
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup cream
1 t. salt
some grated nutmeg
- Cut off the top, as if you were going to carve a jack-o-lantern, and hollow it out. (Note: the seeds can be spread out and dried to eat later.)
- Slice French bread into 2-inch thick slices with a sharp knife. (Optional, Brush each side of the French bread with olive oil.) Place the French bread pieces on a cookie sheet. Put the cookie sheet into a 400 degree oven. Remove the cookie sheet after five minutes and turn the French bread pieces with tongs. Place back into the oven for another five minutes. Remove from the oven when fully toasted.\
- Grate about 12 ounces of one of the Swiss cheeses - Emmenthaler, Gruyere or Appenzeller (or create your own combination).
- Alternately layer the toast and cheese inside the pumpkin until it's almost full (leave a half inch on the top because the filling will expand a bit).
- Mix 1 cup of chicken stock into a cup and a half of cream. Add a teaspoon of salt. Grind in some black pepper and grate in some nutmeg. (Optional, reduce the chicken stock and add 1/4 cup Prager Aria)
- Fill the pumpkin almost to the top with this mixture,
- Brush the outside of the pumpkin with oil, it will look better when it emerges.
- Replace the top of the pumpkin, place on a sheet pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 2 hours. (Note: you will need the oven rack lower in the over to allow room.
Bring the whole pumpkin to the table. When you serve it be sure to scoop out the pumpkin flesh with the cheese and the cream. I like to serve this for our pre Thanksgiving tapas party, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. It could also be served with a light second course.