Serves 8 (Main Course) or 12 (Side Dish)
Active Time: 25 Min Start To Finish: 2 Hr
As the pumpkin roasts, its skin becomes gorgeously burnished, while inside, slices of baguette, Gruyère, and Emmental coalesce into a rich, velvety concoction that is utterly fabulous served with a scoop of tender pumpkin flesh.
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• 1 (15-inch) piece of baguette, cut into ½-inch slices (7 oz total) • 1 (7-lb) orange pumpkin • 1 ½ cups heavy cream • 1 ¼ cups champagne • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg • 2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (6 oz) • 2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 oz) • 1 cup aged Gouda • 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third.
- Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp (bread will still be pale), about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
- Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; reserve seeds for another use if desired). Season inside of pumpkin with ½ tsp salt.
- Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper in a pan, reduce mixture over medium heat by a third. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.
- Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about ½ cup cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about ½ inch from top, using all of cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over.)
- Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1¼ to 1½ hours.
Pumpkin can be filled 2 hours before baking and chilled.
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