If you missed Friday’s newsletter (sign up here), you missed this amazing Pumpkin Fondue. This appetizer is so good, and so perfect for Halloween, that I’m giving it to you anyway. Thanks to my friend Kari Lauritzen for introducing me to Ruth Reichl’s genius invention. Enjoy and Happy Halloween!
Cut off the tops and scoop out the seeds of a couple small sugar pumpkins (the funny looking dark green ones) or a pie pumpkin. Sprinkle the inside with salt and pepper, then add 1/2 tsp dried sage and 1-2 cups shredded Gruyere, sharp cheddar, or other aged cheese you like. Pour equal parts chicken broth and cream into the pumpkin until it’s filled about half way to the top or a little over. Replace the pumpkin top, rub the outside of the pumpkin with oil, and bake pumpkins on a foil-lined sheet at 425 for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until pumpkin is very soft and browned (if it seems like the skin is burning, cover it with foil). They’ll look like this:
Let cool a couple minutes, then remove tops and stir the inside so that most of the pumpkin flesh gets mixed in to the cheese/broth mixture. Serve this fondue with hunks of bread or crostini (toasted baguette slices) on a large tray:
Note: If the fondue seems too thin, put the pumpkin back into the oven without the top on for about 15 minutes, so that some of the water evaporates. And/or, remove a little liquid with a ladle before mixing the pumpkin in – you can always add more back in later if you need to.
**Kari Lauritzen is my friend and fellow personal chef in Los Angeles**