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How-To: Cheesy Pumpkin Fondue

Bring your own pumpkin for this holiday recipe.

make-pumpkin-roasted-alte
Roasted pumpkin seeds make a great alternative to croutons.
LEONARD ORTIZ/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Tools
Baking pan
Serving spoon
Chef’s knife
2 medium-sized bowls
Pastry brush
Oven (preheated to 450 degrees F)

Shopping List
Medium pumpkin (approximately 5 pounds)
2 French baguettes
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups vegetable broth
Olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
3 sprigs of thyme (optional)

Step 1
Deseed the pumpkin. This is exactly like carving a jack-o-lantern. Cut a circular opening at the top – wide enough for you to cram your hand and a large serving spoon through. Remove all the pulp and seeds. Save the seeds!
 
Step 2
Mix the cream, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and nutmeg in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the cheeses.

Step 3
Slice the baguettes into 1/4” pieces. Toast slices; then using toasts line the inside of the pumpkin. Add a layer of cheese (approximately one cup). Followed by 1/3 of the cream plus broth mixture. Repeat this step to create two more layers.

Step 4
Move the pumpkin to a baking pan (use one with deep sides; just in case the cheese bubbles out). Brush the outside of the pumpkin with olive oil then bake at 450 degrees F for 1.5 hours or until the exterior of the pumpkin is charred and the inside flesh is soft enough to scoop out with a spoon. That’s it!


Save the Seeds!
Don’t discard these bite-sized gems. Once roasted, pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) make a great garnish for your pumpkin fondue or even better, snacks for later.

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Clean the seeds: Remove the stringy pulp. Using a colander, rinse the seeds in cold water.
3. Spread the seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
4. Spice it up! Toss the seeds with salt, olive oil (or if you’re feeling extra fancy, white truffle oil) and grated Parmesan. Return to the oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 20 more minutes.



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