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Another great recipe from Dorie Greenspan. Serving a whole stuffed pumpkin makes for a lovely fall presentation. This is a recipe you can play with, using the kinds of cheeses and seasonings you enjoy. It's also good with sauteed onions. You can also try this with acorn squash or a Kabocha pumpkin.
- 1 (2 1/2-3 lb) fresh pumpkin, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
- 4 ounces stale bread, sliced thin, then cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 4 ounces cheese, such as Gruyere, Swiss, Blue, Cheddar (or a combination)
- 2 -4 garlic cloves, peeled, germ removed and coarsely chopped (to taste)
- 1⁄3 cup heavy cream, about
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use a Dutch oven or casserole dish. that's the same diameter as the pumpkin.
- Using a very sturdy knife, cut a cap off the top of the pumpkin at a 45-degree angle. Clear away any seeds and strings from the cap and hold it aside while you scoop out the seeds and filaments inside the pumpkin. (You can roast these seeds.) Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper and put it on the sheet or in the casserole.
- Toss the bread, cheese and garlic together in a bowl, then pack it into the pumpkin. (The filling should go into the pumpkin and fill it well. You might have a little too much filling or you might need to add to it -- it's hard to give exact amounts.)
- Season the cream with salt, pepper and several gratings of fresh nutmeg, thyme and whatever other spices you like and pour the cream into the pumpkin until they are moistened.
- Put the cap back in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours -- check after 90 minutes -- or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbly and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. You can remove the cap during the last 20 minutes or so of baking to let the top brown.
- Serve using a big spoon so you can dig into the into the pumpkin meat and mix it up with the filling. Enjoy!
I made this recipe last year (found on a blog), and it is wonderful. I only had 2% milk on hand, and it still worked fine without cream. One warning...this is very rich, so you really can't serve it as a main dish to your vegetarian friends like I did! It is a lovely appetizer or side dish. This recipe started my obsession with cooking everything in pumpkins! We grew our own sugar pumpkins this year and I can't wait to start up with our harvest!