Well…all the waiting is over….
The Great Pumpkin has finally arrived……..OK…just a bit late that’s all….
This is the Halloween post that never was….
Picture editing problems took care of THAT!
You’re getting it anyway…
seriously, I should have “better late than never” tattooed across my chest….backwards of course, so I can read it in the mirror and make myself feel better every day.
Our story begins long ago in a galaxy far away…..
It’s the first Halloween with the children…
(if you don’t know…get the low down HERE)
…and Miss AOA …that’s me…Always Over Ambitious….I broke that into three words to be cute so don’t give me any grief…it’s my blog and I’ll write what I want to…..
….decides she is not only going to make Halloween costumes for the poor kids who never had a homemade Halloween costume, but that her annual
“sit on the front porch with family and have drinks and chili and cornbread while oohing and aching over costumes and handing out candy”
….would be bumped up a notch by making this interesting pumpkin dish.
Everything turned out just dandy so don’t worry. Except for total exhaustion, a wrecked house, messy porch and
NO SCHOOL THE NEXT DAY
it was fine…..
And now, this pumpkin has become a Halloween tradition….because I
HAVE A SHORTAGE OF TRADITIONS
….and needed another one….
Here is the disclaimer….put on your sunglasses or go get coffee because you are about to be confronted with
BRIGHT ORANGE ORBS
Pumpkin Au Gratin (HERE)
(originally from Gourmet 2008)
Prep your pumpkin by cutting a hole in the top and scooping out the stuff…just like you would for carving.
While you’re doing that, you’ll toast some baguette slices in the oven until they’re crispy…not brown, just crispy.
Whisk heavy cream and seasonings together and set that aside.
This can be assembled about 2 hrs before you bake it (SUCH an advantage on Halloween…let me tell you)
Grate the EXPENSIVE (but necessary) cheeses…Emmentaler and Gruyere into a bowl and set that aside.
Emmentaler melts beautifully creamy and Gruyere is NOT swiss cheese. Both of these cheeses are the traditional fondue cheeses for a reason. Go for it.
When you’re ready, gather the pumpkin, cheese, bread and cream mixture so you can layer it all inside the pumpkin.
You can see that I have my pumpkin already in the oiled pan before filling. You can do it either way. I have found that using the 7lb pumpkin recommended in the recipe is a good rule of thumb. Mine was larger than 7 lbs but the key is, get a smaller one rather than a larger one. I also made this for Thanksgiving as an appetizer one year and because I have such a crowd, I used a large pumpkin….not good. Oh, it tasted fine, it was just too big and the ratio of pumpkin to cheese to bread was not as balanced. Next time I wanted more, I just used two smaller pumpkins.
You will salt the inside of the pumpkin and then start layering bread, cheese and some cream….until it’s all gone. If you actually use a smaller pumpkin, it will come close to the top and if you have any leftover, just make a small dish on the side and save that for yourself. Cooks perogative.
Looking at this makes me want it all over again….seriously, it is GONE quickly…..
Oil the pumpkin all over, this will keep the skin from burning to a crisp.
If you are saving it to bake later, it needs to go in the fridge…or for my Northern friends, on the porch.
Speaking of Northern friends. I hear there is snow expected so your winter is already beginning. These giant orange orb pictures could come in handy I think.
Gazing on them might combat Seasonal Affective Disorder….just a thought…
Bake the pumpkin. It will look like this.
Being an experienced Pumpkin Au Gratin maker, I transfer my pumpkin (using two wide grill spatulas and my furniture muscles) to a serving dish. But, you can bake it on a pizza pan which would eliminate that HEFTY step. You need a large serving dish because….
I hope you don’t have an easy gag reflex…
because I’m thinking the people that came up with the barfing pumpkins we see everywhere…
Have actually made this dish….
…because…you need room to dig apart the pumpkin…..which looks awful but tastes incredible!!
I warned you…….
Speaking of incredible…THE INCREDIBLES
YES, you heard me right…
THE ACTUAL INCREDIBLES were here that night!!
They looked SO much better in person than on the big screen!!
Especially little Dash in the front……
Mom (Shelli, my youngest) cleverly altered costumes to look darn good on everyone!!
I taught her everything she knows….