Roasted Pumpkin Fondue
- 1 sugar pumpkin
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 large garlic clove very finely minced
- 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup half n half or combination of 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 heavy cream
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves picked off of stem
- 1/4 tsp Spanish paprika
- 1 cup shredded Comte or Gruyere
- 1 cup shredded Fontina cheese (can substitute with Gruyere Emmental, Gouda, or another similarly mild cheese)
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano
- 1/4 cup bacon cooked and diced, or pancetta
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Take the pumpkin and wash outside, then dry with paper towel.
- Line a baking sheet or baking vessel large enough to hold the pumpkin with aluminum foil. Cut the top of the pumpkin around the stem, and using a spoon, scoop out the inside fibers and seeds, just as if you were preparing a Halloween jack o’lantern. Remember to also clean the stem part of the fibers and seeds as well. You can save the seeds and roast separately if desired, or discard
- Brush the inside of the pumpkin with the olive oil – bottom and sides – very well, as well as the underside of the top with the stem. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, then place the top back on the pumpkin and place the whole pumpkin on the baking sheet.
- Roast in oven for about 1 hour, or until tender. You will see the sides begin to darken. It may get burned on the tops a bit, and this is okay- it adds color and character! But if you see it’s burning black all over reduce heat to 325 F and tent pumpkin with aluminum foil until it is fully roasted. The top may also fall down into the base of the pumpkin- you can either leave it there until the pumpkin is done roasting, or remove it. It is just for presentation, so it doesn’t need to be fully cooked anyway. Once the pumpkin is roasted, remove from oven and transfer to a serving plate
- Now prepare the fondue: Heat butter in a saute pan. Once melted fully add the flour all at once and begin to whisk. Keep it at low heat so the flour doesn’t burn or turn a dark color. Continue whisking constantly and cooking this roux for 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, then slowly add the broth, continuing to whisk as you go. You’ll notice the mixture clumping up, and this is normal, because you have added a colder liquid to the hot roux. Continue whisking to smooth it back out, then add more broth and repeat until all broth has been added.
- Add the cream slowly at first, still whisking, then add more until fully incorporated. Keep the heat on medium-low to low the entire time to prevent burning.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, paprika, and Parmigiano. Switch to a wooden spoon at this point to make stirring easier.
- Take mixture off heat completely and add the remaining two cheeses. Stir until it is nice and creamy. The mixture will be thick- enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you prefer a thinner consistency add more broth.
- Add the thyme and cooked bacon to the fondue and stir to combine. When you’re ready to serve, simply pour the fondue directly into the pumpkin.
- Garnish with a small sprig of thyme, and serve with sliced apples, vegetables, sliced baguette, even potato chips! Serve piping hot and don’t forget to get a bit of that pumpkin with every bite!